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 morning #mnwild check-in

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news Updated: August 25, 2010 - 7:45 AM

Good morning from a hotel room somewhere.

I figured I'd check in, you know, to kill some time with a little blog. Just not a lot of juicy nuggets for you, unless you're amped up to find out the national TV schedule, which the NHL should release at some point today. Of course, the good thing about that is then the Wild can follow at some point afterward with its local TV schedule.

Training camp, which begins Sept. 17 in St. Paul, is closing in fast as this LOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGGG offseason finally comes to a close. No end of the summer blues for moi. Well, maybe a little.

Players are slowly starting to trickle into town and there are a couple neat pre-training hockey camps going on right now. The Octagon player agency is hosting a bunch of players in St. Louis Park, while Neil Sheehy's camp is going on at Augsburg College. There are NHL, college, minor-league, other pro and high school players at those rinks.

As for the Wild, things are quiet as they continue to prepare for training camp and its Oct. 1-8 trip to Helsinki, Finland.

As of now, they still have not decided whether they'll hire an extra scout or third assistant coach, I'm told. They are in the midst of looking for some more minor-league depth and another goalie.

I corresponded yesterday with GM Chuck Fletcher, and he says Pierre-Marc Bouchard is skating and continues to progress.

Traverse City also begins soon. The roster was on a previous blog. Some interesting tryout players, including JT Barnett, the son of former Phoenix Coyotes GM and agent Mike Barnett. If you remember, Barnett had a solid development camp on a tryout for the Wild and the team's bringing him back for the prospect camp.

He just turned 18, and if he has another good camp, it wouldn't be surprising if the Wild signs him. Then, if you want him next summer, you don't have to waste a draft pick to get him. It's kind of a freebie. Also, interestingly, he was recently traded from Vancouver to Kamloops in the WHL. Kamloops is owned in part by Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan, Mark Recchi and ... current Houston Aeros assistant coach Darryl Sydor.

If the Wild signs Barnett, he can still be returned to Kamloops, it would not count as one of its 50 contracts and it would essentially be a five-year deal, I believe.

What else?

Oh, the state fair begins Thursday. I'm still praying somebody invented Zyrtec on a stick.

The Wild will have a big event Sunday at noon at the State Fair FAN Central building. It will unveil the Top 10 games in team history, as selected by the fans, and the top two games are featured on a Year 10 DVD for $19. All proceeds benefit the Wild foundation. Get used to the Year 10 theme from the Wild this year.

Also on hand will be Nicholas Schultz, the Wild's all-time leader in games played, and Wesley Walz, the Wild's all-time leader in sweat dropped, to sign autographs.

Speaking of the Fair, I'll be down there a few times during the next week broadcasting from the 1500 ESPN area. Friday at 7 with Joe Anderson, and at some point next week with Patrick Reusse and Phil "All In" Mackey.

That's it from some place unknown. Not a lot going on, but at least it's a fresher blog.

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