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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World Junior, Bussieres chatter; Aeros, Zucker, Granlund update; Spurgeon injured

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: December 3, 2012 - 12:33 PM

UPDATED WITH SPURGEON, WORLD JUNIOR INFORMATION

This morning, Hockey Canada will announce its preliminary roster for the world junior championships, which will be in Ufa, Russia, from Dec. 26-Jan. 5.

On the preliminary roster of this eventual stacked team should include Wild draft picks Matt Dumba and Tyler Graovac. For much of the season, Graovac, an Ottawa 67s forward, was leading the Ontario Hockey League in goals. He now has 18 in 23 games, was playing hurt for much of the year and is now day-to-day with that injury. Dumba has 15 points in 28 games for Red Deer of the Western Hockey League.

Raphael Bussières, a second-rounder in 2012, is off to a great start with Baie-Comeau of the Quebec League, but he's considered a longshot to play for Canada. Bussières has 17 goals and 37 points (21st in the Q) in 29 games. He was named one of the Q's 3 Stars of the Month for November today. During his past 13 games, Bussières scored 10 goals, totalling 23 points. With three winning goals, he was one of the key elements of the team during their 15 consecutive winning streak in regulation time; equalling the 10 year-old team record. Bussières had a +11 during the last month and two points or more in six games. He also had an eight-game goal streak last month.

UPDATE: Dumba and Graovac made the preliminary roster, Bussieres did not. Here is the roster

Defending champion Sweden has released its roster, and obviously that does not include Jonas Brodin, who is sidelined indefinitely following surgery for a broken clavicle. Christoph Bertschy, drafted 158th overall by the Wild in June, should play for Switzerland. He plays for Bern in the Swiss League.

On Tuesday, the United States will announce its preliminary roster. With Mario Lucia back playing for Notre Dame after a preseason leg and ankle injury, Lucia should be on the roster. Lucia has four goals and an assist in six games for the 11-4 Irish. The freshman Lucia is coming off a 2-goal performance in a pounding of Lake Superior State, the school put on the map by Brian Rolston, Doug Weight, Jimmy Dowd, and ... Mike Greenlay.

The U.S. will be in a group with Canada, Russia, Germany and Slovakia and here is the world junior schedule for this year.

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The Houston Aeros are coming off a big two-game sweep over Oklahoma City and this came one game after beating Abbotsford. So that's two of the top teams in the AHL.

Houston is now fifth in the conference and has won five in a row since defeating Rockford in the Nov. 18 game at the X.

Former UMD national champ Justin Fontaine continues to be a stud for the Aeros. He is tied for 16th in the AHL with 19 points in 19 games. Jason Zucker is tied for fifth in the AHL with 11 goals and leads all rookie forwards. Zucker is tied for first in the AHL with six power-play goals. Brian Connelly is tied for 19th in the league with 12 assists. Matt Hackett is tied for fifth with eight wins.

Here is the Aeros' schedule, but they play at Texas on Friday and home against Peoria on Sunday. Mikael Granlund, injured Nov. 2, is expected to return this weekend from a sprained ankle that cost him 12 games. The Aeros are a very impressive 7-3-2 without Granlund and Brodin.

Also, sounds to me like Brett Bulmer will be out a bit with what I think is a sprained knee. Chad Rau is also out for awhile with a foot injury, while Carson McMillan is banged up with an upper body injury.

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Wild defensemen Jared Spurgeon has sustained an injury in Switzerland with the SCL Tigers and is on his way back to North America. I have emails into his agents and a text into Spurgeon, but as of now, I'm told it's a minor lower-body injury. If I get more details, I will update the blog.

Update: I talked with agent Eustace King. Spurgeon has touched down in Minneapolis. He will be examined by doctors here for a tweaked groin. They believe it's minor, but they want to make sure it's not something more substantial. If it's not and the lockout continues, he will likely eventually return to Switzerland.

This leaves only two Wild locked-out players playing elsewhere right now. Clayton Stoner left this past Thursday for Banska Bystrica in Slovakia and Devin Setoguchi is playing for the Ontario Reign in California of the East Coast Hockey League. He has seven points in five games.

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On Tuesday afternoon in New York, six owners and six players will meet face to face in an effort to gain traction and end this lockout. Commissioner Gary Bettman proposed the meeting last week when mediation failed without union or league leadership. But the NHLPA proposed a staff member from each side be involved, so now Bill Daly and Steve Fehr are expected to be in the room.

The owners will include: two members from the negotiating committee -- Jeremy Jacobs of the Boston Bruins and Murray Edwards of the Calgary Flames -- four new owners -- Ronald Burkle of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mark Chipman of the Winnipeg Jets, Jeff Vinik of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Larry Tanenbaum of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The players should be announced today, so I'll update the blog later.

The Board of Governors meet in New York on Wednesday, and as I mentioned last week, it's time in my opinion for a drop-dead date to be established and announced.

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Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Phoenix 61 3rd Qtr 1:18
New York 66
Portland 6:00 PM
New Orleans
Utah 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Atlanta 7:00 PM
Houston
San Antonio 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 8:00 PM
Denver
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Arizona 3:00 PM
Los Angeles
Colorado 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Philadelphia 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Montreal
Washington 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Tampa Bay 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Florida 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Carolina
Chicago 6:00 PM
Columbus
Nashville 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Calgary 9:00 PM
Vancouver
St. Louis 9:30 PM
San Jose
VA Commonwealth 68 FINAL
Cincinnati 47
Charlotte 78 FINAL
Georgetown 81
SMU 62 FINAL
Michigan 51
Louisville 76 FINAL
Western Ky 67
Mount St Marys 45 2nd Half 0:10
American Univ 44
Abilene Christian 33 FINAL
Boise State 77
UMass Lowell 50 2nd Half 3:00
Duquesne 77
South Alabama 49 2nd Half 4:49
IUPUI 55
Ohio State 62 2nd Half 5:17
North Carolina 70
Massachusetts 43 2nd Half 8:00
Providence 70
Syracuse 51 2nd Half 10:44
Villanova 45
Citadel 54 2nd Half 3:04
Virginia Tech 54
Belmont 43 2nd Half 14:47
Fairfield 35
St Bonaventure 26 1st Half 0:23
Binghamton 22
Montreat 23 1st Half 3:05
Campbell 38
Delaware 36 1st Half 3:04
Fair-Dickinson 29
South Florida 14 1st Half 5:40
Florida State 23
Vanderbilt 31 1st Half 1:40
Georgia Tech 25
SC State 28 1st Half 2:45
Houston 21
Missouri 25 1st Half 3:59
Illinois 24
Truett-McConnell 16 1st Half 4:50
Jacksonville 25
Toledo 47 2nd Half
McNeese State 30
Elon 21 1st Half 5:58
UNC Greensboro 22
Drexel 26 1st Half 1:23
Penn State 31
St Francis-PA 26 1st Half 3:43
Rutgers 37
Albany 29 2nd Half
Yale 28
PSU-Beaver 22 1st Half 4:34
Longwood 31
Eastern Ill 18 1st Half 2:53
Indiana State 15
Indiana 12 1st Half 14:13
Butler 13
Marshall 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
Lafayette 2:00 PM
Kansas
Oral Roberts 2:00 PM
Memphis
Western Mich 2:00 PM
Northwestern
Delaware State 2:00 PM
Oregon
Fla Atlantic 2:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Arkansas Tech 2:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Howard Payne 2:00 PM
Texas-Arlington
UMBC 2:00 PM
Kennesaw St
St Josephs (IN) 2:05 PM
Chicago State
Eastern Mich 2:05 PM
Missouri State
UCLA 2:30 PM
Kentucky
UC Davis 3:00 PM
Air Force
Houston Baptist 3:00 PM
UC Riverside
Davidson 3:00 PM
Coll of Charleston
USC Upstate 3:00 PM
Miss State
NC Central 3:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Illinois State 3:00 PM
Murray State
Louisiana 3:00 PM
Northwestern St
Oakland 3:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Detroit 3:00 PM
Rhode Island
Presbyterian 3:00 PM
UT Martin
Monmouth 3:00 PM
Wagner
Southern U 3:00 PM
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Iowa State 4:00 PM
Drake
Wake Forest 4:00 PM
Florida
High Point 4:00 PM
James Madison
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Michigan State
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Sacred Heart
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Santa Clara
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Texas State
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Sam Houston St
Xavier 5:00 PM
Auburn
Bluffton 6:00 PM
Akron
NJIT 6:00 PM
Central Conn St
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Columbia
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Dayton
Iona 6:00 PM
George Mason
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Texas A&M 6:00 PM
Kansas State
Morgan State 6:00 PM
Manhattan
Saint Josephs 6:00 PM
Marist
East Carolina 6:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Richmond 6:00 PM
Pepperdine
La Salle 6:00 PM
Towson
Incarnate Word 6:05 PM
UMKC
CS-Bakersfield 6:30 PM
Idaho State
Iowa 6:30 PM
Northern Iowa
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Long Beach State 7:00 PM
Texas
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TCU
SE Missouri St 7:30 PM
Arkansas
Lehigh 8:00 PM
Arizona State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Oklahoma 8:00 PM
Washington
Utah Valley U 8:00 PM
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Northern Colorado
St Edwards 8:00 PM
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West Virginia
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CS-Northridge
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
Gonzaga
Fresno State 9:00 PM
Pacific
Montana State 9:00 PM
Portland
Ball State 9:00 PM
San Diego St
South Dakota St 9:05 PM
Utah State
Stanford 10:00 PM
BYU
Utah 10:30 PM
UNLV
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 0 1st Qtr 4:15
Texas-El Paso 0
(23) Utah 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Livingstone 77 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Dartmouth 70
Georgia Tech 65 FINAL
St Francis-NY 59
Auburn 49 FINAL
St Johns 56
East Tenn St 56 FINAL
Jacksonville St 57
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Detroit 57
Cal-Irvine 42 FINAL
Wright State 80
Gardner-Webb 47 FINAL
Kennesaw St 50
FIU 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 83
(7) Stanford 33 2nd Half 4:00
(11) Tennessee 57
Alabama A&M 43 2nd Half 7:25
Ole Miss 59
Central Michigan 42 2nd Half 3:39
(1) South Carolina 76
Nebraska Omaha 43 2nd Half 2:12
Creighton 67
Houston 65 2nd Half 0:20
Nicholls 45
St Thomas Aquinas 38 2nd Half 0:40
Army 70
St Bonaventure 55 2nd Half 3:51
Niagara 49
Texas State 56 2nd Half 1:12
Stetson 75
George Mason 50 2nd Half 6:58
ULM 51
Grambling 24 1st Half 2:07
Kansas State 26
Missouri 29 1st Half 4:38
Wake Forest 25
Robert Morris 20 2nd Half
Cornell 40
Air Force 16 1st Half 3:57
Abilene Christian 29
Hampton 17 1st Half 3:15
James Madison 38
American Univ 27 1st Half 3:11
MD-Eastern Shore 23
Texas Southern 26 1st Half 6:38
TX A&M-CC 12
Tenn Tech 18 1st Half 1:55
NC A&T 27
Presbyterian 18 1st Half 2:06
NC Central 13
Penn 30 2nd Half
Drexel 23
Lipscomb 24 2nd Half
Xavier 35
Vermont 12 1st Half 6:04
Green Bay 21
Charleston Southern 9 1st Half 15:45
UNC-Wilmington 3
Ohio Christian 18 2nd Half
Akron 44
Jacksonville 15 1st Half 2:01
Murray State 38
(17) Rutgers 22 1st Half 4:18
Iona 17
Indiana 43 1st Half 0:44
Oakland 29
Indiana State 7 1st Half 15:48
SMU 1
Denver 4 1st Half 15:53
Purdue 4
TX-San Antonio 2:00 PM
Texas Tech
UCF 2:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Campbell 2:00 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Florida A&M 2:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Northwestern St 2:00 PM
Jackson State
Lehigh 2:00 PM
Arizona State
Valparaiso 2:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Toledo 2:00 PM
Southern Ill
Liberty 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Wofford 2:30 PM
North Florida
Montana State 3:00 PM
Washington St
Marshall 3:00 PM
(22) West Virginia
Morgan State 3:00 PM
Chattanooga
Northeastern 3:00 PM
Harvard
Furman 3:00 PM
(15) Georgia
(18) Michigan State 3:00 PM
(9) Baylor
Ohio U 3:00 PM
Massachusetts
Prairie View 3:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
High Point 3:00 PM
(12) Nebraska
Winthrop 3:05 PM
Wichita State
William Jewell 3:30 PM
UMKC
Louisiana Tech 4:00 PM
Utah
Southern Utah 4:00 PM
Gonzaga
Hawaii 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
San Jose St 4:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Northridge 4:00 PM
San Diego State
Norfolk State 4:00 PM
East Carolina
Saint Peters 4:00 PM
Loyola-Maryland
Arizona 4:30 PM
Stephen F Austin
Northwestern 4:30 PM
Eastern Illinois
Oral Roberts 5:00 PM
Wisconsin
Florida Atlantic 5:00 PM
New Mexico St
La Salle 5:00 PM
Georgia State
(16) Oregon State 5:30 PM
Nevada
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Villanova
Delaware 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Saint Louis 6:30 PM
Utah Valley U
Washington 7:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Pacific 7:00 PM
Long Beach St
Old Dominion 7:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Austin Peay 9:00 PM
Montana
Lewis-Clark State 9:00 PM
Idaho
(21) Miss State 9:30 PM
Illinois-Chicago
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