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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Patrick O'Sullivan returns to Minnesota; Wild draft pick claimed by former team

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news, Wild player moves, Wild practice Updated: November 23, 2010 - 11:03 AM

Good day from Minnesota.

Kent Youngblood's covering practice this morning, but as I alluded to yesterday and in today's paper, the Wild was considering putting in a claim for Carolina Hurricanes forward Patrick O'Sullivan. The team did and got him.

O'Sullivan, taken 56th overall by the Wild in 2003, is now 25 years old and returns to his original team. O'Sullivan, after scoring 47 goals and 46 assists as a rookie for the Houston Aeros, was traded with a first-round pick for Pavol Demitra at the 2006 draft.

Since, he's bounced around the NHL. He spent three seasons in L.A., scoring a career-high 22 goals and 53 points in 2007-08. O'Sullivan was then traded to Carolina, then traded to Edmonton, then dumped by the Oilers after being a minus-35 last year and picked up by Phoenix for the purposes of buying him out. He then signed as a free agent with Carolina, where he's scored one goal in 10 games this year.

The Wild looks at this as a little-risk pickup for a team that averages the second-fewest goals per game in the West (2.42) and a league-low 25.0 shots per game. O'Sullivan's in the last year of a deal that pays him $600,000 in the NHL and I believe, $105,000 in the minors.

So he'd improve on the Wild's skill until (if) Pierre-Marc Bouchard returns from post-concussion syndrome.

And if the Wild ever needs to send him to the minors, it could try to pass him through waivers or somebody else could take him off their hands via waivers.

Kent's at practice today as I work ahead of some Wild stories. He'll talk to O'Sullivan today hopefully and discuss with coach Todd Richards what role and what position O'Sullivan will fill.

Chuck Kobasew, who skated during Saturday's optional morning skate, practiced for the first time today. He's missed eight games with a groin injury. John Madden and Marek Zidlicky, who didn't practice yesterday, practiced today.


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