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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Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 92 FINAL
Chicago 97
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
Denver 106
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 FINAL
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 3
NY Islanders 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 3
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
Edmonton 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
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Dayton 75
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Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
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Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
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USC Upstate 90
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Missouri 63
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West Virginia 55 FINAL
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TCU 45 FINAL
Texas 79
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Air Force 41
San Jose St 76 FINAL
Boise State 91
Nevada 61 FINAL
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UNLV 61 FINAL
San Diego State 76
Wyoming 61 FINAL
Utah State 57
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