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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San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 0 1st Prd 4:11
Buffalo 2
Carolina 0 1st Prd 2:41
Columbus 1
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Montreal 7:30 PM
Chicago
Arizona 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
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