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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As of now, Wild opens at home Jan. 19 against Colorado; Likely training camp roster

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news, Wild training camp Updated: January 10, 2013 - 1:18 PM

For at least this very moment, the Wild's season opener is at home on Hockey Day Minnesota on Jan. 19 against the Colorado Avalanche.

It will be the nightcap on Fox Sports North at 8 p.m.

I shouldn't have retracted my original report Tuesday on this now (ha), but the yet-to-be released NHL schedule has had a lot of moving parts and my original report was wrong at the time.

The Wild's opener was going to be AT Colorado on Jan. 19.

It is now back at home after the Wild made its case to the league that the team should open at home on the day this sport is celebrated in the great state of Minnesota. The league, after flipping some things around, has worked to accomodate the request.

So as of now, ... barring any other changes, the Wild is expected to open at home Jan. 19 against Colorado.

Not only that, I hear there's a chance the Wild will actually open with consecutive home games (Jan. 20), although I am not positive of the opponent yet and if that will be changed.

The full 48-game schedule will be released after the players ratify the new collective bargaining agreement Saturday. So, the schedule should be out Saturday or Sunday and tickets will go on sale next week.

Hockey Day Minnesota is hosted by Grand Rapids on Pokegama Lake.

Coverage on Fox Sports North starts at 9 a.m. Jan. 19 with the first game being at 10 between Eagan and Hibbing-Chisholm. At 1:30, defending state champ Benilde-St. Margaret's plays Grand Rapids. At 5 p.m., the No. 1-ranked Gophers host North Dakota. And at 8, Colorado at Wild.

Also, following the Wild game will be a tape-delayed girls' game between Grand Rapids Greenway and Hibbing-Chisholm.

-------------------

As of now, training camp will open Sunday. The Wild wants to have a scrimmage or two next week so it yet may expand the roster as needed next week, but as of now the folks here plus Matt Dumba is expected to be the roster. So as of now, I wouldn't expect any other prospects from Houston arriving before Sunday.

The depth chart again:

Forwards (15)

Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Dany Heatley

Matt Cullen-Mikael Granlund-Devin Setoguchi

Cal Clutterbuck-Kyle Brodziak-Pierre-Marc Bouchard

Darroll Powe-Zenon Konopka-Torrey Mitchell

Matt Kassian-Jake Dowell-Stephane Veilleux

Defensemen (8)

Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon

Clayton Stoner-Tom Gilbert

Justin Falk-Nate Prosser

Matt Dumba (coming in from WHL Red Deer)

Marco Scandella (groin injury, status uncertain)

Goalies (2)

Niklas Backstrom

Josh Harding

That is 25 players. You can only have a 23-man roster.

The final roster depends on if Scandella is healthy, if Bouchard is ready to start the year (he hasn't been cleared to play yet but is aiming for opening night) and if there are any other injuries or trades.

I've gotten tons of questions about Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle and Johan Larsson and whether they'll be at camp.

Again, as of now, it looks like no to start, but the Wild may expand the roster next week based on need or injuries.

But right now, as you can see, there's no open spots barring injuries or trades for Houston prospects. If Scandella is hurt and Dumba doesn't make the team, the Wild will need another defenseman from Houston or to make a trade as a seventh defenseman.

Konopka arrived today, so the entire Wild roster is here (minus Dumba).

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