By Brian Stensaas

With Russo and Rachel already in the Eastern Time zone for coverage of this upcoming road trip, I made my triumphant return to Wild practice this morning. And we have some news to report. 


Petr Sykora has been diagnosed with a concussion following that hit from Steve Ott the other night and he will not travel with the team today to Toronto. Myself and another reporter walked out of the arena today with Sykora, but he was very silent. Clearly he was told not to talk about his condition or how he feels or how long he might be out. Actually, I’m certain about that, because all he would say is, ‘I can’t talk to you guys.’ 


Richards on Sykora: “What we got back on him is it’s a concussion. So we don’t know the extent of it. I think he had some tests yesterday, maybe some tests today. And once we get those results back we’ll have a better idea. Still, concussions are a touchy thing. Sometimes they clear up, other times they linger. So he’ll be kind of a day-to-day thing, or week-to-week, or month-to-month however long it takes.”


Doesn’t sound good, folks. 


In some good news, though, Kim Johnsson is going to play tomorrow. OK – I don’t know that 100 percent, stone-cold-lead-pipe-lock for sure (because no one is officially saying that) but Johnsson practiced today and declared himself ready to go. Richards will only confirm that Johnsson says he feels fine. But we’ll have to wait until after tomorrow’s morning skate for the OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT. Uh, expect that to be that the Wild’s top D-man is back in the mix. 


OK – what else from today …. I heard some players weren’t thrilled with the 10am start time today, but afterward most guys were happy knowing that once their 1pm chartered flight landed in Toronto, the rest of the day was theirs. No hopping off the plane and whisked off to whatever rink is available to practice on. Eric Belanger, in particular, was happy with getting practice today over and done with. No shocker there ;)


Richards had the guys skating today. No ladders (or, ‘Herbies’) or anything like that, but the majority of the 50-minute session was spent using the whole sheet of ice. Even when one drill started inside the blue line, the back end of the drill finished with players in a breakout. 


Big John Scott was especially vocal. No trouble knowing which side he was on for this practice, as he chanted ‘Dee-Fense! Dee-Fense’ during some drills. 


Speaking of defense, Chuck Kobasew was wearing the number '2' on his helmet today rather than his assigned number 12. No chance of him switching sides, Russoville. The ‘1’ sticker simply fell off.


OK off to write. Remember, no local TV for tomorrow’s game, so get your radio ears on or find the nearest watering hole that carries NHL Center Ice. I’ve got mine picked out …


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(UPDATED) Wild 3, Dallas Stars 2; Sykora injured; Wild players want Ott suspended

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Johnsson to return tonight