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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Wednesday's Wild scrimmage will be critical for a few forwards

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news, Wild training camp Updated: January 15, 2013 - 8:10 PM

The puck drops on the 2013 Minnesota Wild season in 96 hours. Because of that, Wednesday night's 7 p.m. scrimmage at Xcel Energy Center will mean a lot.

Good evening from Chateau Russo, where I'm so glad to be writing about neutral-zone forechecks and not disclaimers of interests and memorandums of understandings.

The Wild re-released a limited amount of tickets for Wednesday's scrimmage and they've already been scooped up, so unless you have a ticket, find a really good friend that has one and beg OR watch on Fox Sports North OR listen to KFAN (100.3-FM).

And, of course, follow along on my Twitter, @russostrib.

FSN coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with a pregame show, and remember, Becoming Wild Episode 1, (I've dubbed, The Cal Clutterbuck Story) will re-air at 6 p.m. Episode 1 will re-air again after the scrimmage, followed by Becoming Wild, Episode 2 (I've dubbed, The Life and Times of Kyle Brodziak's Brother's Mustache).

Doors open at 6. Also, all Hockey Lodge locations will hold a 50% off sale all day. The sale is limited to floor stock only while supplies last and a limit of one jersey per person. Tickets go on sale at 8 a.m. at the X; noon at wild.com and Ticketmaster.

The scrimmage will be a real one. There will Wild and Aeros split between the two teams. Real rules, refs, 20-minute periods with new 18-minute intermissions that will make my heart explode on deadline.

The scrimmage will be real important for a number of guys: (I'm hoping Mikko has a good game," joked Yeo).

The top-12 forwards are pretty much set:

Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Dany Heatley

Matt Cullen-Mikael Granlund-Devin Setoguchi

Cal Clutterbuck-Kyle Brodziak-P-M Bouchard

Darroll Powe-Zenon Konopka-Torrey Mitchell

Eleven of those forwards are on one-way deals, which means they'd have to get their NHL salaries in the minors (not Granlund).

Max, the Wild can only keep 13 or 14 forwards, so that will likely be two of Matt Kassian (one-way), Stephane Veilleux, Jake Dowell or Nick Palmieri.

Coach Mike Yeo said this is a very important scrimmage for them. It's their last evaluation. For any of those four to get the minors, they have to be put on waivers. That would have to come Thursday because opening night rosters must be submitted Friday at 2 p.m. CT.

But as you can read in my story in Wednesday's paper, GM Chuck Fletcher said the opening lineup could be rendered meaningless by Game 2. With injuries and performance in a shortened season, there will be plenty of adjustments this year, so if you don't make the team, you'll be back.

That's especially true for prospects like Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle and Johan Larsson.

"Whether it's guys that are here, guys in Houston, we're going to have good depth, and good in the sense that we have youth and we have veteran presence, and sometimes you need one, and sometimes you need the other," Yeo said. "We also have skill and we have role players, and again, sometimes you need one and sometimes you need the other."

Again, the anticipated D pairings are (with Marco Scandella and Jonas Brodin hurt; both skated today; few weeks away):

Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon

Clayton Stoner-Tom Gilbert

Justin Falk-Nate Prosser

Steve Kampfer and Matt Dumba are the extras right now


By the way, if you didn't notice, Vancouver's David Booth is out six weeks with a torn groin sustained in fitness testing. Just mentioning it because this is the exact reason Fletcher said he chose not to do fitness testing this year. He wanted to avoid somebody getting hurt during it.


Tennessee 7:25 PM
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
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
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
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 117 FINAL
San Antonio 116
Milwaukee 97 FINAL
Portland 104
Houston 115 FINAL
Denver 111
Indiana 100 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
TX-Pan American 69 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
Winthrop 62 FINAL
Auburn 80
New Mexico St 55 FINAL
Baylor 66
San Diego St 62 FINAL
Cincinnati 71
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
Incarnate Word 82 FINAL
Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 58 FINAL
Cal Poly 60
Central Arkansas 55 FINAL
New Mexico 76
Howard 45 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Portland 73 FINAL
CS-Northridge 56 FINAL
Oregon 79
Grambling St 38 FINAL
Washington 86
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
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
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 42 FINAL
San Francisco 60
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