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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Conference Finals schedules; Wild Summer Road Tour Info

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: May 30, 2013 - 3:34 PM

Greetings from humid South Florida, where I returned today because of a family situation that has kept me out of town for much of May.

There literally has been nothing going on with the Wild though. I'm already ready for training camp, which begins Sept. 11.

Organizational meetings between the Wild front office, coaching staff and scouting staff begin next week, and that's when the direction of this offseason will become clearer. 

But the last month has mostly been about decompressing. The next week will be about analysis. And starting the second week of June, GM Chuck Fletcher will begin going about his offseason business.

I have a few Wild items in Friday's newspaper, so check those stories out.

This week, Wild assistant GM Brent Flahr and his staff has been in Toronto for the draft combine since Sunday. Fletcher has arrived as well. All league GM's are there, so this is typically when the trade talks begin that often transpire around the draft.

In fact, if you remember at the combine in 2011, that is when I reported that the Cam Barker buyout was in the works and that is when the idea of Martin Havlat waiving his no-trade clause was first broached between Fletcher and agent Allan Walsh. It was also there when the Atlanta Thrashers staff was pretty much axed with the move to Winnipeg and when I wrote a few times that I kept spotting then-Columbus GM Scott Howson and GM Paul Holmgren meeting in the hotel restaurant. A few weeks later, the Blue Jackets acquired Jeff Carter on the eve of the draft in Minnesota.

So the combine is big for GM's as well as the scouts.

Like I said, please check out tomorrow's stories.

Playoffs have been awesome so far, and Chicago even won Game 7 twice -- much to the relief of the NHL. Here are the upcoming conference finals schedules between the last four Stanley Cup winners (56 players on these four teams have their names on Cups), as well as info for the upcoming Minnesota Wild Road Tour:

2013 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL

SERIES M TIME (ET) #1 Pittsburgh vs. #4 Boston Networks
Saturday, June 1 8 p.m. Boston at Pittsburgh NBC, CBC, RDS

Monday, June 3 8 p.m. Boston at Pittsburgh NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS

Wednesday, June 5 8 p.m. Pittsburgh at Boston NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS

Friday, June 7 8 p.m. Pittsburgh at Boston NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS

*Sunday, June 9 8 p.m. Boston at Pittsburgh NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS

*Tuesday, June 11 TBD Pittsburgh at Boston NBC Sports Network. CBC, RDS

*Wednesday, June 12 TBD Boston at Pittsburgh NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS

2013 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL


SERIES N TIME (ET) #1 Chicago vs. #5 Los Angeles Networks
Saturday, June 1 5 p.m. Los Angeles at Chicago NBC Sports Network, TSN, RDS

Sunday, June 2 8 p.m. Los Angeles at Chicago NBC Sports Network, TSN, RDS

Tuesday, June 4 9 p.m. Chicago at Los Angeles NBC Sports Network, TSN, RDS

Thursday, June 6 9 p.m. Chicago at Los Angeles NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS

*Saturday, June 8 8 p.m. Los Angeles at Chicago NBC, CBC, RDS

*Monday, June 10 9 p.m. Chicago at Los Angeles NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS

*Wednesday, June 12 TBD Los Angeles at Chicago NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS

CITIES ANNOUNCED FOR 2013 WELLS FARGO MINNESOTA WILD ROAD TOUR

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild today announced the stops for the 2013 Wells Fargo Minnesota Wild Road Tour, which will visit 18 cities in three states from June 24-26, leading into the Summer Bash at the John Rose OVAL in Roseville on Thursday, June 27, from 6-9 p.m. Exact locations and times will be announced soon.

Leg one will include players Charlie Coyle and Jason Zucker, along with original Wild Wes Walz, and will make stops in Moorhead and Park Rapids on June 24, Wadena and Alexandria on June 25, and St. Cloud and Hutchinson on June 26.

The second leg features Josh Harding and Nate Prosser, and will make stops in Ely and Virginia on June 24, Two Harbors and Cloquet on June 25, and Brainerd and Elk River on June 26. Prosser is a native of Elk River, which is the host city for 2014 Wells Fargo Hockey Day Minnesota.

Leg three includes Clayton Stoner and Darcy Kuemper, and it will visit Eau Claire, Wisc., and La Crosse, Wisc., on June 24, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Des Moines, Iowa, on June 25, and Albert Lea and Northfield on June 26. Des Moines is the new home of the Wild’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Iowa Wild, starting in the 2013-14 season.

The first 100 fans at each location will receive a 2013 Wells Fargo Minnesota Wild Road Tour pin.

The 2013 Wells Fargo Minnesota Wild Road Tour will culminate in the Summer Bash at the John Rose OVAL in Roseville on Thursday, June 27, from 6-9 p.m. The Summer Bash will include live music, autographs from all six players on the Road Tour, interactive games, photo opportunities and more.

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NY Mets - B. Colon 6:05 PM
Washington - T. Roark
Baltimore - U. Jimenez 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - B. McCarthy
Kansas City - Y. Ventura 6:05 PM
Cleveland - D. Salazar
Seattle - F. Hernandez 6:07 PM
Toronto - R. Dickey
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll 6:08 PM
Detroit - D. Price
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 6:10 PM
Miami - H. Alvarez
Pittsburgh - G. Cole 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Wood
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - J. Cueto
Tampa Bay - A. Cobb 6:10 PM
Boston - C. Buchholz
Houston - B. Oberholtzer 7:05 PM
Texas - N. Martinez
St. Louis - S. Miller 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
Arizona - A. Chafin 7:10 PM
Minnesota - K. Gibson
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New England 9/29/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Carolina 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Pittsburgh 6:00 PM
Columbus
Boston 6:30 PM
Montreal
Nashville 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Toronto
Detroit 7:30 PM
Chicago
San Jose 8:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Vancouver 9:30 PM
San Jose
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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