Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

Also find Russo on Facebook.

Email Michael to talk about hockey.

Granlund on whether he plans to sign with the Wild: "Of course"

Posted by: Michael Russo under Vikings, Vikings draft, Wild news Updated: January 5, 2012 - 6:39 PM

Evening from inside the Corral, which houses the press room for the world junior championships. The tournament's a stone's throw across the street at the Saddledome.

Canada won the bronze this afternoon with a 4-0 win over Finland. The Finns didn't compete for two periods and just didn't have the depth to battle the Canadians.

Mikael Granlund, the Wild's 2010 first-rounder, called it a "big disappointment," especially after holding a 2-0 lead in Tuesday's semifinal before losing in a shootout to Sweden. But, "life goes on."

Couple quick things:

1. Granlund reiterated to me again, I think for the third time in 14 months, that Wild fans shouldn't be worried and that his intention is to sign with the Wild after his season. The Wild loses his rights if he's unsigned by June 1.

Remember, though, he doesn't become a free agent. He'd have to re-enter the draft, so what would be the advantage? He can't make a cent more. And he wouldn't control where he'd end up, so you re-enter the draft, and next thing you know, you're on Long Island (OK, Islanders fans, email me).

But my point is I just don't buy that there's any funny business going on here. But hey, until he's signed, of course there's going to be concern. But again, it's a pretty simple negotiation. Give him the max rookie salary and signing bonus and work out the bonus structure.

By the way, he can't be signed now anyway. You can't sign European amateurs until March 1, but if that player is going to be called upon by his Federation to play in the world championships, you can't sign that player until after that tournament. So there likely won't be any official Granlund news until May.

Sooooooo, leave me alone on Granlund until then.

All indications are he wants to be in Minnesota. I mean, he looks up to Mikko Koivu. The Wild treats him like gold. He was more than willing to take part in the Wild's Fan Fest before his brother, Markus, was drafted in June. He returned a few weeks later to take part in the Wild's development camp. There are a lot of Scandinavians in Minnesota. The weather's great. He loves walleye. He likes ice fishing. He hates Dunkin Donuts. He thinks the "Ohhh, yah," in the Minnesota accent is sexy. He lives for the Mall of America. He's glad the Vikings hired a GM ...

And he knows he'll be on the team next year.

Speaking of Koivu: The Wild captain called Granlund yesterday to try to lift his spirits after the puck rolled off his stick in Tuesday's shootout to advance Sweden to the gold-medal game, which is in less than an hour. I'll have some neat quotes from the two of them in tomorrow's Star Tribune.

Buy it. It's good.

(more coffee).

OK, I'm going to run back to the Saddledome to watch Jonas Brodin, Johan Larsson and Johan Gustafsson. Chatted with Sweden GM Johan Garpenlov, and he raved about the Wild's Swedes.

On the Wild front, Nate Prosser was reassigned. The Wild practiced for 45 minutes in Banff today. It canceled its curling outing. And it has a team dinner.

I'll head to Banff in the morning to cover practice. Good evening.


Atlanta 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Miami 5 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Nathan 6
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Cincinnati 13 FINAL
Cleveland 2
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
Chicago WSox 6
Kansas City 3 FINAL
Seattle 0
Seattle 1 FINAL
Milwaukee 15
San Diego 3 FINAL
Arizona 3
Washington 3
LA Angels 4 Top 5th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
Colorado 8:05 PM
Oakland 9:05 PM
San Francisco
Indiana 7 1st Qtr 5:15
Milwaukee 15
Pittsburgh 1 2nd Prd 8:32
Carolina 2
New Jersey 0 2nd Prd 9:36
Washington 2
Los Angeles 1 2nd Prd 6:29
NY Islanders 1
Arizona 2 2nd Prd 6:44
Buffalo 2
Anaheim 0 2nd Prd 9:42
Boston 0
Nashville 2 2nd Prd
Tampa Bay 1
San Jose 3 2nd Prd
Detroit 2
NY Rangers 3 2nd Prd
Ottawa 1
Florida 0 2nd Prd
Toronto 0
Montreal 0 1st Prd 12:42
Winnipeg 0
Colorado 9:00 PM
Wichita State 30 2nd Half
Notre Dame 33
North Carolina 28 1st Half 2:32
Wisconsin 28
Evansville 7:30 PM
West Virginia 8:45 PM
Xavier 9:17 PM
St Johns 42 2nd Half 6:24
Villanova 48
NC State 51 2nd Half 9:09
Temple 55
Missouri 44 2nd Half 7:44
Michigan 50
Oral Roberts 42 2nd Half 11:41
Louisiana 35
Duquesne 36 2nd Half 8:56
West Virginia 52
Ole Miss 13 1st Half 8:40
Middle Tennessee 23
Northern Colorado 9:00 PM
St Marys-CA 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: What are you following most closely right now?

Weekly Question