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.

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Granlund's AHL Rookie of the Month; Brunette: "One foot in the grave, one foot on the ice"

Posted by: Michael Russo under Gophers, Wild off-season news Updated: November 1, 2012 - 5:12 PM

On the day Zach Parise was destined to be named NHL Player of the Month , the Wild instead must be satisfied with AHL accolades because of this stinkin' lockout that hit Day 47 today.

Mikael Granlund, the Wild's highly-touted 2010 first-round pick, was named AHL Rookie of the Month after his inaugural month as a North American pro. He is the top-scoring rookie forward in the AHL with 10 points in seven games and is plus-5.

Granlund's riding a six-game point streak into this weekend's series at Oklahoma City (Edmonton No. 1 overall pick Taylor Hall will make his AHL debut) -- highlighted by a four-point game in a 5-3 win against Texas.

Rookie Justin Schultz of Oklahoma City, the former Wisconsin defenseman that chose to sign with the Edmonton Oilers over finalists that included the Wild, was named AHL Player of the Month. So again: The rookie that was Player of the Month didn't win Rookie of the Month. I made note of that on Twitter. Funny tweet to me in response by a guy named @thegreatganzy: "@Russostrib it's like Beyonce losing to Taylor Swift at the VMAs and then winning video of the year."

Also, Nick Petersen, on an AHL deal with the Wild, was named ECHL Player of the Month. He leads the league with six goals and 14 points for Orlando.

Tonight: the Wild, if not for the lockout, would be hosting the defending Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings before embarking on a six-game road trip tomorrow to Tampa, Boston, the Rangers, Detroit, New Jersey (Parise's homecoming) and Philadelphia. That's a bulk of frequent flier miles I'm missing out on!

I talked with Andrew Brunette today on the phone as he walked his golden retriever around Lake Elmo. Brunette, whose rookie year was my rookie year covering the league (1995-96) and who scored his first-ever goal at Miami Arena with me in the building (1996 with Washington), knows he very well could be done playing hockey.

He said he would still be interested in playing if there was the right fit, but he knows because of the lockout (with a big chuckle), "I've got one foot in the grave and one foot on the ice with the casket slowly creaking to a close."

Brunette, 39, who played two stints for the Wild, has scored 268 goals and 733 points in 1,110 regular-season games over 16 seasons. He is fourth in Wild history with 489 games, second with 119 goals, second with 55 power-play goals, fourth with 202 assists and fourth with 321 points.

"Bruno waited until he was almost 30 for his real chance, and he's going to go away? It's a shame, although he'll be OK financially because he drinks the cheapest beer on the planet. He'll be fine," said Brunette's former Atlanta teammate Ray Ferraro.

I relayed that quote to Brunette and he literally laughed for like 2 minutes: "He's a quote a minute that guy. He's such a good broadcaster. He's very good at what he does." 

Brunette said if he doesn't return, he would like to stay in the game in some capacity, whether it's broadcasting or working inside an organization.

Also, St. Paul has been awarded one of the 2014 NCAA regionals. You can read about that on Roman's blog here. Also, the Gophers open a weekend home-and-home series Friday night against Minnesota State. Roman touched on the Mavericks yesterday in his blog here.


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 112 4th Qtr 0:38
Sacramento 117
Minnesota 67 4th Qtr
Golden State 88
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 3rd Prd 5:00
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 3rd Prd 7:27
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
North Carolina 89
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
(2) Connecticut 96
Houston 50
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
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