NHL Insider: Opening up the Russo's Rants mailbag

  • Updated: April 1, 2014 - 1:03 AM

Here’s another edition of Russo’s Rants in the newspaper, a Q&A from questions left on the blog.

hide

Dany Heatley, left, is one of several players not expected to be on the Wild roster come next season. Mike Rupp and Ilya Bryzgalov are two others.

Photo: Jim Mone • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Sportsguy: Why is this team so challenged when it comes to scoring?

Russo: 1. Lacks natural goal scorers; 2. Not big enough (see St. Louis) or fast enough (see Chicago); 3. No sharpshooters from the blue line (it hopes Matt Dumba can develop into one); 4. Has never been bad enough to get the blue-chip prospects. Colorado has a couple of lousy years and is now set for the next 15 by drafting Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O’Reilly.

 

Bryanxyz: What college free agents are the Wild interested in?

Russo: When UMass-Lowell’s season ends, the Wild will try hard to sign big Swedish defenseman Christian Follin, who many believe is good enough to step right into the NHL (ineligible for the playoffs). Several teams are interested, including Philadelphia, Boston, Vancouver and Edmonton.

 

Sathington: With the cap going up and Dany Heatley coming off the books, what will the Wild prioritize with that money?

Russo: Most important, the Wild must figure out its goaltending situation with the uncertain health situations of Josh Harding and Niklas Backsrom. If the team believes Darcy Kuemper can handle the No. 1 reins, it might look at a scorer like Thomas Vanek and/or signing a free-agent defenseman. If the Wild feels Kuemper isn’t ready — and his play lately may leave doubts — it needs a goalie.

 

Big G: Who will NOT be back for the Wild next year?

Russo: Heatley, Mike Rupp and Ilya Bryzgalov, and likely not Cody McCormick. Depending on the Wild’s plans for free agency, I’d think the team talks to Clayton Stoner and Nate Prosser. I’d think maligned Kyle Brodziak will at the very least be dangled on the trade market.

 

Mnhockeyguy: Do the Wild use their compliance buyout this summer?

Russo: It’s hard to give up centermen in this league, but maybe Brodziak after two down years in a row.

 

rcs5010: Matt Moulson appears to have the scoring touch the Wild needs. Odds he is around next year instead of Vanek?

Russo: Depends on how far the Wild goes, how the Wild feels he fit in (his lack of speed in what’s become a fast league may be the drawback on a long-term deal) and what type of contract he is looking for to forgo free agency. So, it’s up in the air.

Mgalaforet: What 1st- or 2nd-pairing defenseman may be available as a free agent?

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

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 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Carolina 6:00 PM
Columbus
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
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close