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.

Fletcher talking trade; Wild announces 7-game exhibition schedule*

Posted by: Michael Russo under Vikings draft, Wild off-season news Updated: June 18, 2012 - 1:22 PM

Draft week is finally upon us with the first round Friday in Pittsburgh at 6 p.m. (NBC Sports Network) and the second through seventh rounds Saturday starting at 9 a.m. (NHL Network).

I'll be hosting a live chat on startribune.com Wednesday at 1 p.m. from Pittsburgh. I'll also be in studio at KFAN on Paul Allen's show Tuesday from 9:55-10:35 a.m.

The Wild chooses seventh -- barring a trade to move up or down. The top-rated Minnesotan is Lakeville's Brady Skjei, who has won back-to-back Under-18 world championships with the United States. The terrific-skating defenseman should be a mid- to late-round first-round pick Friday.

The soon-to-be Gopher also is one of seven Minnesotans that was selected to attend USA Hockey's evaluation camp in August for the next world junior championships this winter in Russia. Wild 2011 second-round pick and soon-to-be Notre Dame center Mario Lucia was also chosen to attend. The full list can be seen here.

South St. Paul's Phil Housley will coach the team.

If you didn't see, I talked to Wild GM Chuck Fletcher about trades in today's paper. That article can be found here.

Thirty-eight percent of Fletcher's 21 trades he has made as Wild GM has been made around the draft, the biggest coming last June at the St. Paul draft when he dealt Brent Burns and a second to San Jose for Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and a first (Zack Phillips).

While Fletcher has been having a lot of trade conversations lately, I just don't see how he executes anything remotely as thunderous as the Burns trade. He just doesn't have the pieces, the Wild would sooner go after Zach Parise for no assets (other than monetary) in free agency and Fletcher is not looking to trade the prospects teams would require for a big piece.

I can see some minor trades in the days leading up to the draft and at the draft, but I think the Wild mostly waits to make its noise (if it can) in free agency.

As the for the exhibition schedule, it's what I threw on the blog the other day. It comes with an unwritten asterisk though because this is all barring a new collective bargaining agreement being in place by Sept. 15. Otherwise, well, everything's up in the air.

If all's a go, the Wild is looking to spend a few days leading up to the Oct. 13 season opener in Banff for some bonding after the Calgary preseason finale. The regular-season schedule, with an asterisk, should be released in the next few days.

2012-13 MINNESOTA WILD PRESEASON SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT LOCATION TIME (CT)
Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Dallas Stars CenturyLink Arena (Boise, Idaho) 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 26 Dallas Stars Xcel Energy Center 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 27 St. Louis Blues Xcel Energy Center 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 29 at St. Louis Blues Scottrade Center 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 2 Winnipeg Jets Xcel Energy Center 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 4 at Winnipeg Jets MTS Centre 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 6 at Calgary Flames Scotiabank Saddledome 8:00 p.m.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago WSox - S. Carroll 12:05 PM
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda
Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson 12:07 PM
Toronto - M. Buehrle
Detroit - B. Farmer 12:10 PM
Minnesota - Y. Pino
Seattle - C. Young 12:35 PM
Boston - B. Workman
Baltimore - B. Norris 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
San Francisco - T. Lincecum 3:05 PM
Washington - J. Zimmermann
Houston - C. McHugh 6:05 PM
Cleveland - D. Salazar
St. Louis - S. Miller 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan
Atlanta - E. Santana 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Leake
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez 6:10 PM
Milwaukee - W. Peralta
San Diego - A. Cashner 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Miami - T. Koehler 7:10 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:25 PM
Texas - N. Tepesch
LA Angels - C. Wilson 8:05 PM
Oakland - J. Lester
NY Mets - J. deGrom 8:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 FINAL
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 21 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Chicago 6 FINAL
Seattle 34
Tampa Bay 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Chicago 6:00 PM
Toronto FC
Montreal 6:00 PM
Red Bull New York
Chivas USA 6:30 PM
New England
Houston 6:30 PM
Columbus
D.C. 7:30 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Vancouver FC 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Montreal 16 FINAL
Winnipeg 24
Toronto 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Indiana 4:00 PM
Washington
Minnesota 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT