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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Wild waiting on Cullen; Koivu, Jokinen off the boards; Boogey says goodbye

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: July 1, 2010 - 4:56 PM

In a puzzling, shocking signing, Calgary has brought back Olli Jokinen for two years. After Olli's comments to me yesterday regarding the Calgary Sun column, I can't wait to read the coverage tomorrow.

Now Saku Koivu's returning to Anaheim for two years.

Where's that leave the Wild? Besides crickets, multiple sources from both sides say the Wild is trying hard to sign Moorhead native Matt Cullen. No decision yet, but I bet he comes in somewhere between 3 and 3.5M on at least three years. He is the guy the Wild want -- 100 percent and the guy they're devoting most their day to.

The only other center that fits the bill is Matt Lombardi, but I hear he's asked for between 3.8 and 4.5M on a long-term deal.

Lombardi is a very hard, hard-working, very good player, but that's a lot of money and I just don't see the Wild going there.

As for Boogaard, he signed a four-year, $6.6 million deal with the Rangers.

 

Boogaard was audibly in a bittersweet mood. He was sad to leave, thanking the fans “who have been great to me here” and specifically naming several people, including current and past owners Craig Leipold and Bob Naegele and every coach from both coaching staffs in team history.
 
“Really everybody helped me out throughout my career here in Minnesota, beginning when I was 19 all the way up until now,” said Boogaard. “I still want to push forward and try to make myself a better player, but I’m no smoke and mirrors guy in the free-agent pool. You know what you’re going to get – somebody who’s willing to work hard every night and do the things I do well.”

OK, more soon....

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