This is Michael Russo's 18th year covering the National Hockey League. He's covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005 following 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. Michael 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.
The lockout is officially over! Finally!
It is business as usual in the NHL.
Training camp will open across the league on Sunday, with coach Mike Yeo and the rest of his staff allowed to step onto the ice at Xcel Energy Center with the Wild players at 10:30 a.m.
NHL schedules have been released. Here is the Wild's.
Transactions can begin at 11 p.m. CT. The Wild's Nick Palmieri has agreed to accept his one-year, two-way qualifying offer. He will be the Wild's 50th and final contract.
Here is a video I narrate from today's Wild media day, produced by David Brewster
Trade deadline is April 3. Free agency starts July 5. I will be on XM at 8:05 a.m. CT Monday and in studio at KFAN at 9:20 a.m.
-- The Wild will hold two scrimmages this week, one Monday, the other Wednesday, against the Houston Aeros, sources say, as long as the NHL permits it.
The Wednesday night scrimmage at 7 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center is free and open to the public.
The scrimmage will be televised live on FOX Sports North, beginning with a re-airing of Becoming Wild, Episode 1, at 6 p.m., followed by Wild Live at 6:30, the scrimmage at 7, and Wild Live at 9:30. Becoming Wild, Episode 1 will then re-air at 10, followed by Episode 2 at 10:30.
The scrimmage also will be broadcast on KFAN (100.3-FM).
Wednesday, Jan, 16
· Regular season ticket on-sale at 8 a.m. at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, and at 12 p.m. on the Wild web site (www.wild.com), and all Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com) locations or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. See ticket prices below.
· All Hockey Lodge locations (Xcel Energy Center, Burnsville Center, Maplewood Mall) will hold a 50 percent off sale all day Wednesday (excluding game-worn items and autographed collectibles; not to be combined with any other offer; limit 1 jersey per customer while supplies last).
· Doors open for the scrimmage at 6. A ticket is needed for entry – season ticketholders can print their tickets from their online account, while all other fans can print a ticket for free via Ticketmaster.com. All fans will receive a $10 concession voucher upon entry (not valid for alcoholic beverages). Autographed jerseys will be given away throughout the event.
· Launch of Version 2.0 of the Wild App for iPhone and the debut of the Wild App for Android
Season Ticket Holder Benefits
· Bonus points for Wild Rewards program, powered by E-Fan, that for a limited time can be redeemed for Xcel Energy Center concerts and events, gift cards, behind-the-scenes access and player meet-and-greets
· 20 percent discount on additional single-game seats purchased for home games through February 28
· Guaranteed receipt of premium items throughout the season
· Recognition of select season ticket holders at each home game as part of game presentation
· Received 10 percent interest on cancelled games during the lockout
· The Wild and Ticketmaster are partnering to waive ticket print-at-home and forwarding fees from January 17-31 (this is only available to package holders through “My Wild Account”)
Other Fan Benefits
· Let’s Play Hockey retail specials in all Hockey Lodge locations. All skate-lace hoodies, 12 different styles, LPH special $39 (regularly $69) throughout January, while supplies last
· Autographed jersey giveaway by seat locations on Opening Night
The Wild home opener is Saturday, Jan. 19, versus the Colorado Avalanche at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Wild is encouraging fans to arrive in St. Paul early and visit local bars and restaurants. All fans in attendance will find a Wild T-shirt on their seat upon arrival, courtesy of the Wild and FOX Sports North. Wild players will greet and thank season ticketholders during player introductions. Autographed jerseys will also be given away throughout the night.
Single-game ticket prices:
RBC Wealth Management Club Level
Double Attack Corners
Single Attack Corners
Double Attack Ends
Single Attack Ends
The tandem July 4 signings of prized free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter
did a lot more than just bolster the team’s on-ice skill – it brought
Minnesota more than 1,000 new season ticket holders in less than 24 hours
and over 4,000 yearlong commitments just a month later. Inked to identical
13-year, $98 million contracts, Parise and Suter bring a wave enthusiasm to
a Wild franchise that has made it out of the first round of the playoffs
only once in its 12-year history. “We are extremely excited to add the
collective skill, experience and character of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to
an already promising roster,” said GM Chuck Fletcher on the day of the
signings. “We view this as a rare opportunity for us to transform our
franchise by adding two marquee players, who are both in the prime of their
careers.” The pair brings a combined 232 goals, 416 assists, 648 points and
1,044 games of NHL experience to the state of hockey.
*·Will the team’s stable of prospects contribute on the NHL level?
* After a great start to 2011-12, can the Wild put it together for a full
Off-Season Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
July 1: Signed C Torrey Mitchell (San Jose) and C Zenon Konopka (Ottawa)
July 3: Signed C Jake Dowell (Dallas).
July 4: Signed LW Zach Parise (New Jersey) and D Ryan Suter (Nashville).
Off-Season Departures/Free Agents
LW Guillaume Latendresse (unrestricted free agent, signed by Ottawa); D
Mike Lundin (unrestricted free agent, signed by Ottawa); RW Nick Johnson
(unrestricted free agent, signed by Phoenix); C Warren Peters (unrestricted
free agent, signed by Pittsburgh); C Erik Christensen (unrestricted free
agent); D Kurtis Foster (unrestricted free agent); RW Jed Ortmeyer
(unrestricted free agent)
2013 MINNESOTA WILD SCHEDULE
48 GAMES IN 99 DAYS (9 BACK TO BACKS)
SAT 19 COLORADO, 8 P.M.
SUN 20 DALLAS 7 P.M.
TUE 22 NASHVILLE 7 P.M.
FRI 25 @ DETROIT 6:30 P.M.
SUN 27 @ ST. LOUIS 5 P.M.
TUE 29 COLUMBUS 7 P.M.
WED 30 CHICAGO 7 P.M.
FRI 1 @ANAHEIM 9 P.M.
MON 4 @PHOENIX 8 P.M.
THUR 7 VANCOUVER 7 P.M.
SAT 9 NASHVILLE 7 P.M.
MON 11 @CALGARY 8 P.M.
TUE 12 @VANCOUVER 9 P.M.
THUR 14 COLORADO 7 P.M.
SUN 17 DETROIT 5 P.M.
THUR 21 @EDMONTON 8:30 P.M.
SAT 23 @CALGARY 9 P.M.
TUE 26 CALGARY 7 P.M.
THUR 28 @PHOENIX 8 P.M.
FRI 1 @ANAHEIM 9 P.M.
SUN 3 EDMONTON, 7 P.M.
TUE 5 @CHICAGO, 7:30 P.M.
SAT 9 @NASHVILLE 7 P.M.
SUN 10 VANCOUVER 7 P.M.
TUE 12 ANAHEIM 7 P.M.
THUR 14 COLORADO 7 P.M.
SAT 16 @COLORADO 2 P.M.
MON 18 @VANCOUVER 9 P.M.
WED 20 @DETROIT 6:30 P.M.
SAT 23 SAN JOSE 1 P.M.
MON 25 @DALLAS 7:30 P.M.
WED 27 PHOENIX 8 P.M.
FRI 29 @DALLAS 7:30 P.M.
SAT 30 LOS ANGELES 7 P.M.
MON 1 ST. LOUIS 7 P.M.
WED 3 @SAN JOSE 9:30 P.M.
THUR 4 @LOS ANGELES 9:30 P.M.
SUN 7 @COLUMBUS 5 P.M.
TUE 9 CHICAGO 7 P.M.
THUR 11 ST. LOUIS 7 P.M.
SAT 13 COLUMBUS 7 P.M.
MON 15 @CALGARY 8 P.M.
TUE 16 @EDMONTON 8:30 P.M.
THUR 18 @SAN JOSE 9:30 P.M.
SUN 21 CALGARY 5 P.M.
TUE 23 LOS ANGELES 7 P.M.
FRI 26 EDMONTON 7 P.M.
SAT @COLORADO 6:30 P.M.
More to come after memorandum of understanding is signed
Once this painstakingly slow memorandum of understanding is completed by the NHL and NHLPA and signed, restricted free agent Nick Palmieri will re-sign with the Wild. Acquired in last year's Marek Zidlicky deal from New Jersey, Palmieri will accept his one-year, two-way qualifying offer.
Palmieri is here today.
Also, with Marco Scandella sidelined with a groin injury and not ready to return, Matt Dumba arrived today from WHL Red Deer and Steve Kampfer is up from Houston.
This puts the training camp roster at 26. Again, no training camp details can be released until the MOU is signed. No transactions can be made, no schedules released (although I have it ready to go, so come back here once the MOU is signed and the lockout officially ends).
I am hearing Wednesday night's scrimmage will be televised on Fox Sports North. If the CBA allows it, the Houston Aeros will charter here to play in the game, I am told by sources. That game will be free, open to the public and full of cool perks and incentives.
The Aeros will also play the Wild in a Monday night scrimmage. That is not open.
Wild training camp roster
No. Name Ht. Wt. Age. Hometown
7 Matt Cullen 6-1 200 36 Virginia, Minn.
9 Mikko Koivu 6-2 200 29 Turku, Finland
10 Devin Setoguchi 6-0 200 26 Taber, Alberta
11 Zach Parise 5-11 195 28 Minneapolis
14 Darroll Powe 5-11 212 27 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
15 Dany Heatley 6-4 220 31 Freiburg, Germany
17 Torrey Mitchell 5-11 190 27 Greenfield Park, Quebec
18 Jake Dowell 6-0 198 27 Eau Claire, Wis.
19 Stephane Veilleux 6-1 200 31 Beauceville, Quebec
21 Kyle Brodziak 6-2 209 28 St. Paul, Alberta
22 Cal Clutterbuck 5-11 213 25 Welland, Ontario
27 Nick Palmieri 6-3 220 23 Utica, NY
28 Zenon Konopka 6-0 209 32 Niagara on the Lake, Ontario
42 Matt Kassian 6-4 232 26 Edmonton, Alberta
64 Mikael Granlund 5-10, 180 20 Oulu, Finland
96 Pierre-Marc Bouchard 5-11 173 28 Sherbrooke, Quebec
No. Name Ht. Wt. Age. Hometown
4 Clayton Stoner 6-3 225 27 Port McNeill, British Columbia
20 Ryan Suter 6-1 198 27 Madison, Wis.
23 Steven Kampfer 5-11 194 24 Ann Arbor, MI
39 Nate Prosser 6-2 195 26 Elk River
44 Justin Falk 6-5 215 24 Snowflake, Manitoba
46 Jared Spurgeon 5-9 185 23 Edmonton, Alberta
55 Matt Dumba 6-0 184 18 Regina, Saskatchewan
77 Tom Gilbert 6-2 206 30 Bloomington
No. Name Ht. Wt. Age. Hometown
32 Niklas Backstrom 5-11 189 34 Helsinki, Finland
37 Josh Harding 6-1 197 28 Regina, Saskatchewan
After a 30-0 unanimous vote by the owners to ratify the collective bargaining agreement Wednesday, the players have now concluded their ratification vote.
Results aren't out yet, but it will certainly be ratified.
The lockout would then be ... all but over now.
Before it's officially over, a memo of understanding must be signed by the NHL and NHLPA. That essentially is a bulletpoint version of the CBA's main issues that would be legally binding while the actual CBA is crafted the next several weeks.
Last night, the language was still being crafted because part of this document must be a legal mechanism to resolve potential issues that could arise while the CBA is being finalized. In 1994-95, there were several wildfires that had to be put out as the game returned to the ice.
As Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in email to me this morning, "The lockout won't be lifted and nothing happens unless or until MOU is signed."
Until the Memo of Understanding is signed, technically there can be no schedules released, no transactions in the league (the Wild could be in the market for a defenseman this week), no training camps open.
Daly says he is expecting that to happen today. When that happens, then we can get our hands on the schedule, TV schedule, training camp details, etc.
Wild physicals will occur this morning. The players will be on the ice for a final informal skate this afternoon. The hope is camp opens tomorrow. The training camp roster as of now is on www.startribune.com/wild. So is Chip Scoggins' great column on Wild coach Mike Yeo.
I'll update the blog when we have the players results and/or MOU is signed and/or schedule is released and/or official training camp details/roster is out.
You've been patient since Sept. 15. Be patient just a little while longer, I promise.
The Wild players didn't skate today, but on Saturday they will have their final informal skate before the anticipated opening of training camp Sunday.
Saturday morning will be physicals.
I am hearing a couple tidbits:
1. Wednesday night at 7, I am hearing the Wild is looking to hold a scrimmage at the X. It would be open to the public.
But here is the really cool thing. There is a chance it will be televised on Fox Sports North with a pregame show. Obviously, going through the cost of broadcasting an intrasquad scrimmage is pretty unique, so we will see. But all signs point toward a 7 p.m. scrimmage.
Still some moving parts here, so stay tuned.
Most interesting will be if the Wild expands its camp roster for the game by bringing up the Houston Aeros (a lot of teams are bringing in their minor-league teams for a scrimmage) or at least a handful of the top prospects to get a good size for the scrimmage.
Training camp details will be released by the team soon.
2. As you know from Friday's paper, the season starts at home Jan. 19 against the Colorado Avalanche -- the first in a three-game homestand that continues Jan. 20 against Dallas and Jan. 22 against Nashville (Ryan Suter's first game vs. his old team).
Suter's first game in Nashville, I hear, will be March 9. Team's first road trip is to Detroit and St. Louis on Jan. 25 and 27.
3. As you know from Friday's paper, the season ends in Colorado on April 27. That is 48 games in 99 days. How much more condensed is this season than last? Last year's last 48 games were in 110 days. The big issue this season may be a lack of practice time. Honestly, there may be two-dozen practices.
4. We're all hoping the schedule can be officially released after the players ratify the deal Saturday at 7 a.m., HOWEVER, I am told the schedule can't be released by the NHL until the memorandum of understanding is signed by both the NHL and NHLPA, and as of tonight, it was not all complete.
5. The process of mini-plan season-ticket holders finding out what games they have now will begin once the schedule is released.
6. Single-game tickets go on sale Wednesday at 8 a.m. at the X. Ticketmaster starts at noon. As Craig Leipold indicated in Friday's paper, the team is ready to unveil some perks and incentives to fans to show them "how [bad] we feel" regarding the lockout that cost 34 games.
7. It's not signed off yet, but as of now, the trade deadline is April 3.
8. Hopefully you saw Friday's story on Andrew Brunette and Brian Rolston and other NHLers who may have retirement looming. If not, it's here.
Talk to ya Saturday.
|Vikings (29)||Gophers injuries (2)|
|Gophers on TV (1)||Gophers coaches (2)|
|Gophers players (7)||Gophers game day (6)|
|Gophers postgame (12)||Gophers awards and honors (1)|
|Gophers post season (1)||St. Cloud State (1)|
|Wild news (403)||Bears (4)|
|Lions (1)||NFL draft (1)|
|Packers (1)||Super Bowl (6)|
|Vikings fans (3)||Ex-players (1)|
|On the road (149)||Rookies (34)|
|Roster moves (12)||The draft (86)|
|Trade talk (3)||Fighting (3)|
|Stanley Cup (28)||Wild coaching (30)|
|Wild game coverage (318)||Wild management (13)|
|Wild off-season news (359)||Wild player moves (105)|
|Wild practice (267)||Wild pregame skate (285)|
|Wild trade news (28)||Wild training camp (90)|
|Adrian Peterson (4)||Ben Leber (1)|
|Bernard Berrian (1)||Brad Childress (3)|
|Brett Favre (5)||Jared Allen (1)|
|Brad Childress (3)||NHL news (1)|
|2010 Winter Games (5)||Olympic hockey (23)|
|Olympic luge (3)||Olympic ski jumping (2)|
|Olympic skiing (2)||NHL draft (7)|
|Gophers sports (3)||Gophers (38)|