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.

Also find Russo on Facebook.

Email Michael to talk about hockey.

Minnesota Wild's Traverse City prospects tournament roster

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news Updated: August 28, 2014 - 10:58 AM

Wild players report for physicals and fitness testing Sept. 18 with camp officially opening on the ice Sept. 19, but as always, the Wild will take part in a prospects tournament in Traverse City, Mich.

The information and roster is below.

If you missed yesterday's Q and A with Wild coach Mike Yeo at the Star Tribune booth at the State Fair, here is a replay. Good primer for training camp.

I will also be at the State Fair KFAN booth with Paul Allen on Friday starting at 9:55 a.m. talking Wild.


MINNESOTA WILD TO PARTICIPATE IN 2014 NHL PROSPECTS TOURNAMENT IN TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN, SEPTEMBER 12-16
 
    SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club will participate in the 2014 NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., Sept. 12-16. Wild prospects will compete in the tournament’s Gordie Howe Division with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues. The Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars and New York Rangers will play in the Ted Lindsay Division.
 
    Minnesota’s roster features a total of 12 Wild draft picks: G Alexandre Belanger (2013, 7th round), LW Raphael Bussieres (2012, 2nd round), C Reid Duke (2014, 6th round), D Matt Dumba (2012, 1st round), D Tanner Faith (2014, 5th round), RW Kurtis Gabriel (2013, 3rd round), C Tyler Graovac (2011, 7th round), G Johan Gustafsson (2010, 6th round), RW Pavel Jenys (2014, 7th round), D Dylan Labbe (2013, 4th round), C Chase Lang (2014, 6th round) and D Gustav Olofsson (2013, 2nd round) along with four free agents signed during the 2013-14 season: C Brady Brassart, D Christian Folin, D Guillaume Gelinas and RW Zack Mitchell. Iowa Wild Head Coach Kurt Kleinendorst and Assistant Coach Steve Poapst will lead the Wild prospects.
 
    Fans can visit www.wild.com for tournament updates including reports from Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr. Minnesota is set to open its 2014 Training Camp presented by Andersen Windows on Friday, Sept. 19. A complete training camp schedule and roster will be announced prior to the start of training camp. 
 
2014 MINNESOTA WILD TRAVERSE CITY PROSPECTS TOURNAMENT ROSTER 
FORWARDS                  HT     WT    SHOOTS   BORN     BIRTHPLACE                    2013-14 TEAM   LGE          GP   G     A     PTS   PIM                                        ACQ
82 Olivier Archambault   6-0     190    Left            2/16/93    Le Gardeur, Quebec             Quebec                QMJHL      38    19    27    46      37                                        INVITEE
80 Jessey Astles              6-2     205    Left            6/4/93      Coquitlam, British Columbia                            Tri-City      WHL        50    11      9          20                                        67      INVITEE
62 Brady Brassart            6-2     196    Right          6/15/93    Vernon, British Columbia    Calgary                WHL          70    35    50    85      94                                        FA/14
49 Raphael Bussieres       6-1     198    Left            11/5/93    Longueuil, Quebec               Iowa                    AHL          61    5      14    19      51                                        EN/12
75 Reid Duke                   6-0     189    Right          1/28/96    Calgary, Alberta                   Lethbridge           WHL          62    15    25    40      91                                        EN/14
53 Tyler Graovac             6-4     205    Left            4/27/93    Brampton, Ontario               Iowa                    AHL          64    13    12    25      29                                        EN/11
63 Kurtis Gabriel             6-4     214    Right          4/20/93    New Market, Ontario           Owen Sound        OHL          60    16    35    51      99                                        EN/13
47 Reid Gardiner             5-11   185    Right          1/19/96    Humboldt, Saskatchewan     Prince Albert        WHL          70    22    22    44      39                                        INVITEE
57 Ryan Graham              6-2     205    Left            5/6/96      Calgary, Alberta                   Saskatoon            WHL          70    15    8      23      37                                        INVITEE
81 Pavel Jenys                 6-2     198    Left            4/2/96      Brno, Czech Republic          Brno                    Czech         29    2      0      2        4                                        EN/14         
76 Chase Lang                 6-1     182    Right          9/13/96    Nanaimo, British Columbia  Calgary                WHL          68    10    15    25      52                                        EN/14
59 Zack Mitchell              6-0     184    Right          1/7/93      Caledon, Ontario                  Guelph                 OHL          67    31    52    83      40                                        FA/14
67 Andrew Ryan              6-3     202    Left            1/15/94    St. John’s Newfoundland     Halifax                 QMJHL      56    27    28    55      52                                        INVITEE
71 Ryan Walters              6-0     190    Left            7/30/91    Rosemount, Minnesota        Nebraska-Omaha NCHC        34    6      24    30      16                                        INVITEE
DEFENSEMEN               HT     WT    SHOOTS   BORN     BIRTHPLACE                    2013-14 TEAM   LGE          GP   G     A     PTS   PIM                                        ACQ
55 Matt Dumba                6-0     183    Right          7/25/94    Regina, Saskatchewan          Minnesota            NHL          13    1      1      2        2                                        EN/12
                                                                                                                                          Portland               WHL          26    8      16    24      37
73 Tanner Faith               6-3     211    Right          10/5/95    Terrace, British Columbia    Kootenay             WHL          10    0      1      1        9                                        EN/14
5 Christian Folin              6-3     210    Right          2/9/91      Gothenburg, Sweden            UMass-Lowell     HE             41    6      14    20      31                                        FA/14
34 Guillaume Gelinas      5-10   185    Left            6/14/93    Quebec City, Quebec           Val d’Or              QMJHL      67    23    69    92      81                                        FA/14
68 Alex Gudbranson       6-2     204    Right          9/3/94      Orleans, Ontario                  Sault Ste. Marie    OHL          66    7      8      15      76                                        INVITEE
78 Dylan Labbe               6-2     194    Left            1/19/95    St. George, Quebec              Shawinigan          QMJHL      63    9      18    27      20                                        EN/13
23 Gustav Olofsson         6-4     191    Left            12/1/94    Boras, Sweden                     Colorado College NCHC        30    4      4      8        20                                        EN/13
79 Hunter Warner            6-2     202    Right          9/21/95    Eden Prairie, Minnesota       Waterloo/Fargo    USHL        50    2      10    12      127                                        INVITEE
GOALTENDERS            HT     WT    CATCHES BORN     BIRTHPLACE                    2013-14 TEAM   LGE        GPI   W-L-OT  SO GAA  SV%                                        ACQ
50 Alexandre Belanger     6-1     184    Left            8/19/95    Sherbrooke, Quebec            Rouyn-Noranda   QMJHL    52      28-18-3   1    3.23   .881                                        EN/13
31 Johan Gustafsson       6-2     202    Left            2/28/92    Koping, Sweden                   Iowa                    AHL        40      12-20-4   1    2.98   .903                                        EN/10
70 Brandon Whitney        6-5     208    Right          5/11/94    Kentville, Nova Scotia         Victoriaville         QMJHL    41      13-18-7   4    3.25   .906                                        INVITEE
 
 
2014 MINNESOTA WILD PROSPECTS TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE*
 
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
2:30 p.m.        Minnesota vs. Columbus
3:00 p.m.         Buffalo vs. Carolina
6:00 p.m.         New York Rangers vs. Dallas
6:30 p.m.         Detroit vs. St. Louis
                                      
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
2:30 p.m.         Carolina vs. Dallas
3:00 p.m.        Minnesota vs. St. Louis
6:00 p.m.         Buffalo vs. New York Rangers
6:30 p.m.         Detroit vs. Columbus
 
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
2:00 p.m.         Dallas vs. Buffalo
2:30 p.m.         Columbus vs. St. Louis
5:30 p.m.         New York Rangers vs. Carolina
6:00 p.m.        Minnesota vs. Detroit
 
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
2:00 p.m.         Seventh Place Game (4th Howe vs. 4th Lindsay)
2:30 p.m.         Fifth Place Game (3rd Howe vs. 3rd Lindsay)
5:30 p.m.         Third Place Game (2nd Howe vs. 2nd Lindsay)
6:00 p.m.         Championship Game (1st Howe vs. 1st Lindsay)
* All times listed are Central
 
 

Wild update: Harding looks good, Bryzgalov wants to return, Yeo at State Fair, Ticket info

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: August 21, 2014 - 11:59 AM

Going to the Minnesota State Fair? Toss this in your calendars: Wild coach Mike Yeo will visit the Star Tribune booth on Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 1:30 p.m.

On the back patio of our booth, I will conduct a Q and A with Yeo regarding the upcoming season. If you attend, please come on by and you can even ask a question yourself. Or, if you cannot attend, tweet me at @russostrib that morning and I’ll try to ask Yeo your question. The Q and A will be streamed live on www.startribune.com/wild.

If you have attended these in previous State Fairs with Yeo or GM Chuck Fletcher, it’s always a good, candid chat and fun time for the many who attend, so please join. You can even get free Star Tribune Chap Stick!

I will also be broadcasting with Paul Allen at the KFAN booth at 9:55-10:55 a.m. Friday, August 29, so stop on by.

--Speaking of the Wild, the team just announced that preseason single-game tickets will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. Regular-season single-game tickets will go on sale Sept. 20 at 10 a.m. at Xcel Energy Center’s box office and noon at Ticketmaster and all other locations. Tickets start at $32. The team also announced the return of the five-game pack. Those are available at the State Fair and wild.com/5game.

--Throughout the Twin Cities, the pre-training camp skates run by Octagon (Ben Hankinson and Chris McAlpine) and Neil Sheehy have started. Those include Wild players and Minnesota-based NHLers, college players and some elite high school players. I checked out the Octagon skate a few times this week and players like Zach Parise, Josh Harding, Keith Ballard, Ryan McDonagh, Dustin Byfuglien, Derek Stepan, Ryan Malone, Matt Carle, Ryan Jones, Alex Goligoski, Clayton Stoner, Stephane Veilleux, Matt Cooke, Matt Hendricks, Drew Stafford, Kyle Okposo, Tim Jackman, John Scott, Mark Alt, Nate Condon, Davis Drewiske were there. Sorry if I missed a few. I was also impressed young Wild players like Christian Folin and Kurtis Gabriel are already in town.

“I just want to get used to everything and give myself the best possible chance [to make the team],” Folin said.

“I want to be the best I can be,” Gabriel said.

Malone looked good and with his legal issues soon behind him from Tampa, one would think somebody signs him (Rangers have talked to him) or he attends a training camp on a tryout.

--The guy who looked really good was Harding. He hasn’t played an NHL game since Dec. 31, so it was a good sign to see him back on the ice and looking like he hasn’t missed a beat. Remember, he led the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage last year. If you remember, he was practicing every day of the Chicago series, so he was close to returning last postseason. Health-wise now, he says he feels great and on the ice, he looks great.

So, that’s a good sign. Fletcher also said last week that Nik Backstrom continues to feel good and should be ready to go when camp begins Sept. 18.

--All this is interesting because durable veteran Ilya Bryzgalov, who went 7-1-3 down the stretch of the regular season to help the Wild make the playoffs (lone regulation loss was that meaningless finale vs. Nashville), wants to return to the Wild, his agent tells me.

“Ilya would very much like to return to the Wild and further the success the team had down the stretch last year,” agent Ritch Winter said. “It was one of the most satisfying experiences he has had in his career. 

“Ilya loved his teammates in Minnesota, loved the city and loved and appreciated the support he received from the coaching staff and Wild fans. He would love to be a part of helping this team to enjoy the success they had together last year.

“He has instructed me to do all I can to facilitate a return to the Twin Cities even if it requires him to compromise somewhat to accommodate the budget issues facing the team if that becomes a possibility.”

The issue is roster room. Harding assures Fletcher he is ready to go. Same with Backstrom. Right now, Darcy Kuemper remains unsigned, but the Wild is working toward re-signing him.

Fletcher has great respect for Bryzgalov, but he has said that with Harding, Backstrom and eventually Kuemper occupying three of the 23-man roster, it’s tough to simply sign Bryzgalov.

From the previous blog, Fletcher said he intentionally communicated with Backstrom and Harding to make sure they were OK and there were no issues he was unaware of in case he needed to react and address the situation by signing Bryzgalov or somebody else.

But Fletcher said, “everything’s a go with both goalies” and “this is how we’re going to start.”

“If something happens, like any player at any position, we’ll react,” Fletcher continued. “There’s always a way to react if you need to, but at this point, we’re comfortable with our situation. They’re quality goaltenders and I’m not losing any sleep over it. We have confidence in them and this is how we’re going to start. There’s no reason to doubt their ability. If they’re healthy, we’ll be fine. And God forbid if a situation happens like last year, then we’ll deal with it. We have three goalies. It’s not like we have one. We have three. We feel we have depth, quality and quantity, and there’s just no reason to doubt the players that are there.”

For Fletcher’s full quotes, see the previous blog.

So, right now, Winter will continue to talk to Fletcher, but if all the goalies remain healthy, Fletcher may be unwavering here.

-- On Sept. 6 at Fogerty Arena at 6 p.m., there will be an NHL Alumni Game to honor Wyatt Klute, a 14-year-old freshman at Blaine who has been diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. For more information on the game, go to http://www.wyattklute.com

--Here is the Wild's Fox Sports North broadcast schedule for this upcoming season:

2014-15 Minnesota Wild – FOX Sports North Schedule

                       

Date                Day                             Opponent                   Time  

Oct. 11             Saturday                      at Colorado                  8:00pm           

Oct. 17             Friday                          at Anaheim                  9:00pm           

Oct. 19             Sunday                                    at Los Angeles                         2:00pm           

Oct. 23             Thursday                     Arizona                       7:00pm           

Oct. 25             Saturday                      Tampa Bay                 7:00pm           

Oct. 27             Monday                       at NY Rangers             6:00pm           

Oct. 30             Thursday                     San Jose                      7:00pm            +

Nov. 1             Saturday                      Dallas                          7:00pm

Nov. 4             Tuesday                       Pittsburgh                   7:00pm           

Nov. 6             Thursday                     at Ottawa                     6:30pm           

Nov. 8             Saturday                      at Montreal                  6:00pm            +

Nov. 11                       Tuesday                       at New Jersey              6:00pm           

Nov. 13                       Thursday                     Buffalo                        7:00pm           

Nov. 15                       Saturday                      at Dallas                       1:00pm           

Nov. 16                       Sunday                                    Winnipeg                     4:00pm           

Nov. 20                       Thursday                     at Philadelphia                         6:00pm           

Nov. 22                       Saturday                      at Tampa Bay              6:00pm            +

Nov. 24                       Monday                       at Florida                     6:30pm           

Nov. 26                       Wednesday                  Los Angeles                7:00pm           

Nov. 28                       Friday                          at Dallas                       7:30pm            +

Nov. 29                       Saturday                      St. Louis                      7:00pm           

Dec. 3              Wednesday                  Montreal                     6:00pm           

Dec. 5              Friday                          Anaheim                      7:00pm            +

Dec. 9              Tuesday                       NY Islanders               7:00pm           

Dec. 11                        Thursday                     at San Jose                   9:30pm           

Dec. 13                        Saturday                      at Arizona                    7:00pm           

Dec. 16                        Tuesday                       at Chicago                    7:30pm           

Dec. 20                        Saturday                      Nashville                     7:00pm           

Dec. 23                        Tuesday                       Philadelphia                6:00pm            +

Dec. 27                        Saturday                      Winnipeg                     6:00pm           

Dec. 29                        Monday                       at Winnipeg                 7:00pm

Dec. 31                        Wednesday                  at Columbus                6:00pm           

Jan. 2               Friday                          Toronto                       7:00pm           

Jan. 3               Saturday                      at Dallas                       7:00pm           

Jan. 8               Thursday                     Chicago                       7:00pm           

Jan. 10             Saturday                      Nashville                     1:00pm           

Jan. 15             Thursday                     at Buffalo                    6:00pm

Jan. 17             Saturday                      Arizona                       8:00pm

Jan. 19             Monday                       Columbus                    7:00pm           

Jan. 20             Tuesday                       at Detroit                      6:30pm

Jan. 27             Tuesday                       at Edmonton                8:30pm

Jan. 29             Thursday                     at Calgary                    8:00pm

Feb. 1              Sunday                                    at Vancouver               2:30pm

Feb. 7              Saturday                      Colorado                     7:00pm

Feb. 9              Monday                       Vancouver                  7:00pm

Feb. 10                        Tuesday                       at Winnipeg                 7:00pm

Feb. 12                        Thursday                     Florida                        7:00pm

Feb. 14                        Saturday                      Carolina                      7:00pm

Feb. 16                        Monday                       at Vancouver               9:00pm

Feb. 18                        Wednesday                  at Calgary                    8:30pm

Feb. 20                        Friday                          at Edmonton                8:00pm+

Feb. 24                        Tuesday                       Edmonton                   7:00pm

Feb. 28                        Saturday                      at Colorado                  9:00pm

Mar. 3              Tuesday                       Ottawa                                    7:00pm

Mar. 5              Thursday                     at Washington              6:00pm

Mar. 6              Friday                          at Carolina                   6:00pm           

Mar. 8              Sunday                                    Colorado                     5:00pm

Mar. 10                        Tuesday                       New Jersey                 7:00pm

Mar. 13                        Friday                          Anaheim                      7:00pm

Mar. 14                        Saturday                      at St. Louis                   7:00pm

Mar. 17                        Tuesday                       at Nashville                  7:00pm

Mar. 19                        Thursday                     Washington                 7:00pm

Mar. 21                        Saturday                      St. Louis                      1:00pm

Mar. 23                        Monday                       at Toronto                    6:30pm

Mar. 24                        Tuesday                       at NY Islanders                        6:00pm

Mar. 27                        Friday                          Calgary                       7:00pm+

Mar. 28                        Saturday                      Los Angeles                7:00pm

Apr. 2              Thursday                     NY Rangers                7:00pm

Apr. 4              Saturday                      Detroit                        6:00pm

Apr. 6              Monday                       Winnipeg                     7:00pm

Apr. 9              Thursday                     at Nashville                  7:00pm

+ airs on FOX Sports North Plus

All Times Central

Schedule Subject to Change

Wild update on goaltending, Kuemper, Nino, Seeler, Biznasty, Ice Bucket Challenge's

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: August 14, 2014 - 6:53 PM

Five weeks from Thursday, the Wild opens training camp, but we are still very much in the dog days of summer.

Other than #ALSIceBucketChallenge’s, the NHL is on unofficial hiatus, and that still includes your Wild.

There’s really little of note going on.

Coach Mike Yeo and his staff are back in town and are preparing for camp. So is General Manager Chuck Fletcher. It’s been a week of meetings as the Wild has met to plan its training camp schedule, tries to determine how many exhibition games the prospects, youngsters and vets will play, decides whether the team will take a bonding trip at the end of camp or maybe even between Games 2 and 3 of the season (oddly, the Wild has five off-days) and even stuff like the likelihood of a father-son trip, etc.

Fletcher has also spent the month dialing up some veterans to check in. Two include the goalies, Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding.

Backstrom had season-ending abdominal surgery and hip surgery last season and Harding didn’t play in 2014 due to complications with multiple sclerosis. Fletcher has talked with both the past two weeks to ensure that they’re still both well and that he doesn’t need to go out and sign a free agent, like Ilya Bryzgalov, who remains unsigned despite going 7-1-3 down the regular season’s stretch to guide Minnesota into the playoffs.

“Everything’s a go with both goalies,” Fletcher said of Backstrom and Harding. “Everybody seems to be feeling pretty good, and at this stage, knock on wood, all of our players who were banged up at the end of the season is feeling better. Josh has felt good. Right now we’re not expecting any issues for anybody with respect to passing training camp medicals.

“Now’s the time of the year, with about a month to go, you want to reach out and make sure there’s no issues you don’t know about so if there is something you have time to help the process. With Josh and Nik, you’re just trying to reach out and see how they’re doing. They’re both doing really well.

“There’s still some quality goaltenders out there. Ilya’s out there and a few others, so there’s that type of option out there. But we’re happy with the quality of our goaltending. When guys have been healthy, they’ve performed well. Darcy [Kuemper] also showed some glimpses of what we hope he’ll become, so we’re comfortable with those three goaltenders. People always ask if I’m worried about it, and I’m not worried about it. You never know what’s going to happen. Injuries can happen to anybody and certainly you can’t predict things, but guys are healthy and typically when Backstrom and Harding are healthy, they play well. If something happens, like any player at any position, we’ll react. There’s always a way to react if you need to, but at this point, we’re comfortable with our situation. They’re quality goaltenders and I’m not losing any sleep over it. We have confidence in them and this is how we’re going to start. There’s no reason to doubt their ability. If they’re healthy, we’ll be fine. And God forbid if a situation happens like last year, then we’ll deal with it. We have three goalies. It’s not like we have one. We have three. We feel we have depth, quality and quantity, and there’s just no reason to doubt the players that are there.”

Speaking of Harding, check out his #ALSIceBucketChallenge. I told him he should have worn his mask.

-- Kuemper and Nino Niederreiter remain unsigned and there have been no conversations since I blogged two weeks ago. Fletcher said, “There’s been nothing lately. In the near future, I’m sure I’ll speak with both agents and we’ll just continue the process. I’ll reach out to them in the near future. We’re over a month ‘til camp. We’ll keep plugging along.”

Again, for more on their situations specifically, read this blog.

-- Nick Seeler, a junior defenseman at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, has stunningly left college at this late juncture. It seems to have caught the Wild off guard, too, the team that drafted the former Eden Prairie High defenseman in the fifth round in 2011. There are apparently no off-ice issues and just a decision made by the family to leave the program.

The problem is his choices are limited now. He is 21, so he is too old to play junior. He can go to Europe. He can transfer colleges, but he couldn’t play next season. So that may leave the only option as turning pro with the Wild.

“We’ll have some conversations with Nick and his family,” Fletcher said. “[Director of Player Development] Brad Bombardir has already had a lot of conversations with Nick and his family and we’ll just continue that dialogue. We’ll try to figure out the best path for him and his career, whether that’s going to a different college or turning pro. I think every option is on the table. We’ll just try to sit down and decide what ultimately makes sense for Nick and the organization. This just kind of happened. The timing, the middle of August, isn’t what you’d normally expect, but it is what it is, and we’ll just kind of deal with it and make the best decisions we can for his development. At this point, nothing’s been decided. We’ll take a little time. Ultimately, Nick will have to decide what he desires to do and then we’ll have to make the decision for everybody.”

-- It has been reported that the Wild, Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins have shown interest in former Arizona Coyotes enforcer Paul Bissonnette, aka @biznasty2point0, the second-most followed NHLer on Twitter and the genius behind this:

 

Selfishly, the colorful player would be a sportswriter’s dream, and if you’ve read my features on Bissonnette before, you know I have enjoyed writing about him.

Fletcher likes him, too, from their days in the Pittsburgh organization, but this sounds more like Biznasty’s agent, Mark Guy, called Fletcher and Fletcher fielded the call and at least entertained the proposition. But it has gone no further to this point.

“I’m always speaking to agents,” Fletcher said. “There’s probably 15 guys without contracts right now whose agents are calling weekly or a couple times a week and I’ve had lots of conversations with all of them about potential fit and scenarios with different players. We’re always talking to agents. I’ve spoken to our scouts and coaches about players. I mean, this is what you do late in the summer. You’re always looking to see if there’s somebody out there that fits, that you have a role for, that would make sense. But at this point, I haven’t made offers to any unrestricted free agents that are out there and I don’t know that we will. You never know, but at this point, I don’t know that we will. We’re definitely comfortable starting with what we have right now, but you’re not doing your job if you’re not taking calls and making calls and asking questions. That’s the best way to characterize it.”


Here are a few other Wild #ALSIceBucketChallenge's, and if you missed the others, see the below blogs:

Mikko Koivu, Mike Yeo get involved in the Ice Bucket Challenge

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: August 12, 2014 - 6:05 PM

Last blog, I presented to you some Ice Bucket Challenge's from Zach Parise, Keith Ballard and Stephane Veilleux. More Wild peeps are joining the fun to raise awareness and money for ALS research.

Ballard challenged me, so naturally, I challenged Wild captain Mikko Koivu, along with Kevin Falness and Paul Fletcher.

Koivu accepted my challenge as you can see below. In recent minutes, coach Mike Yeo also accepted equipment manager Tony DaCosta's challenge and paid it forward -- so to speak -- to Wild TV broadcasters Mike Greenlay, Anthony LaPanta and Kevin Gorg, as you can see below.

Koivu has challenged Kyle Brodziak and Ryan Suter, along with assistant athletic therapist John Worley. I know Brodziak and Worley have accepted, as has Charlie Coyle accepted Cities 97's Paul Fletcher's challenge.

All for a good cause. Some videos for your viewing pleasure.

Zach Parise takes part in Ice Bucket Challenge (with video), challenges Zajac, Faulk, Okposo

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: August 11, 2014 - 5:09 PM

If you haven't heard of the #IceBucketChallenge yet, it is a social media craze that was created by former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who is suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Athletes, celebrities and regular folks just like you have been challenging each other to douse themselves with buckets of ice water to raise awareness for the debillitating disease. If challenged, you have 24 hours to complete the challenge and challenge three others, in addition to donating $100 to ALS research.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Paul Martin and Wild left wing Stephane Veilleux challenged the Wild's Zach Parise. Earlier today, Parise accepted the challenge, poured ice water over his head and in turn challenged NHL stars Travis Zajac, Justin Faulk and Kyle Okposo.

Here is the video Parise sent me:

Here is the very funny Veilleux Ice Bucket Challenge

With the beautiful Minneapolis skyline in the background, here is Martin's challenge of Parise, Andy Greene and James Neal.

And of course, this was bound to happen!

So, I obliged

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