Need a hockey fix?

Brad Bombardir, whose dual title is so long now his business card is printed on 8.5x11 paper, has finalized the schedule for next week's development camp (July 13-19) down at the X. The camp will be run by Houston Aeros first-year coach Mike Yeo and I'm sure his soon-to-be-named staff and "Bomber."

There will be two scrimmages, one July 17, one July 18. The one on July 17 is open to season-ticket holders. The one on July 18 is open to the public. Both scrimmages are at 11 a.m. with Gate 1 doors opening at 10:30.

Both scrimmages are free, unless you want to donate to the "Mike Russo Helsinki Entertainment Fund." It's a new non-profit, meaning I promise to spend every cent. 

In all seriousness, come on down to the X. It's a jolly ol' time. Last year, Brent Burns coached against Cal Clutterbuck. Burns was dressed in Don Cherry attire and a fedora. Clutterbuck was dressed like, uh, Cal Clutterbuck.

The funniest part of the day was when Burns was in the back, I walked into the locker room, saw him screwing around and I said, "You know the game's started, right?"

And then he sprinted out there.

The full roster is on a blog somewhere below this, but among the prospects are some Wild 2010-11 roster hopefuls Casey Wellman, Colton Gillies, Nate Prosser and Marco Scandella, incoming Gopher Erik Haula and recent draft picks Brett Bulmer, Johan Larsson, Justin Zucker, Johan Gustafsson and Dylen McKinlay. Some tryouts include Minnesota-Duluth’s Justin Fontaine and Bemidji State’s Matt Read

From my blackberry (yes, my thumbs hurt, and I'm bored)

Couple Wild thingamajigs:

-- I've gotten a lot of questions via email and on Twitter about Ryan Carter, the White Bear Lake High grad who's on waivers today by Anaheim.

I understand the questions as to the Wild's interest. After all, Carter's young (26), cheap (625K cap hit), can play center, he's from here (which should be the deciding factor in every signing) and he's got a history with GM Chuck Fletcher and assistant GM Brent Flahr from their Anaheim days.

So it makes sense -- in the season. But I just highly doubt the Wild puts in a waiver claim now -- in the offseason.

First of all, no team just puts a player on waivers. I'm sure if the Wild wanted him now, it could have traded a pick for him.

But the Wild's filled up right now up front, especially on the wing, and at center with Mikko Koivu, Matt Cullen, Kyle Brodziak, James Sheppard/Casey Wellman. And the Wild wants to give Wellman every opportunity to make the team.

As I point out often, you can only have so many forwards, so it's not as simple as, "Ryan Carter's on waivers. He's a decent young player. Let's grab him." If you tie your hands with too many one-way contracts, it restricts what you can do both down the line in terms of acquisitions or allowing youngsters like Wellman a realistic shot at a roster spot. 

So again, to me, if the Wild was in the middle of the season and hit by injuries, snatching up Carter like it did Andrew Ebbett last year is something it would do in a heartbeat. But I just don't see it happening now.

-- An addition to the assistant coaching names I threw out there a few days ago (two blogs down, I think): Mike Kitchen. The former St. Louis coach just left Florida as an assistant. I've been told he's likely to replace John Torchetti in Chicago, but maybe the Wild has interest. He is a former defenseman with head-coaching experience. As for Torch, I think the Wild would have loved him as Todd Richards' assistant with Dave "Don't try to outrun me" Barr, but despite the holdup on his contract, Torchetti is going to Atlanta with Craig Ramsay as associate coach any minute.

-- "Your welcome" is in order. I think the team disengaged the Todd Richards popup.

-- I think the Wild's unable to divulge whether the open development camp scrimmage is July 17 or 18 because it's trying to coincide it with the Ilya Kovalchuk signs with the Wild press conference.

-- Lastly, check this out:



Herb Brooks Foundation Teams Up With Defending The Blue Line


SAINT PAUL, MN – Defending The Blue Line announced today a special donation of a hockey camp just for military kids, courtesy of the Herb Brooks Foundation. The creation of “Herbie’s Heroes” will go towards helping military families from Minnesota.


The camp will provide the highest level of on-ice training for deployed, currently serving or combat wounded service members’ children. Highlights of the July camp include a July 24 All-Star game at Blaine's Super Rink between the Herb Brooks Foundation (celebrity and former NHL Pro Players) and the Minnesota Military All-Stars (currently serving military players, as well as honorary Warrior and MN Wild Defenseman Brent Burns). The camp will conclude with a picnic and celebration of the military families.


“We are very excited to have been selected as a grant recipient by the Herb Brooks Foundation. Military families sacrifice so much, we are doing everything we can to help support their needs and keep their kids playing hockey,” said Shane Hudella, President of Defending The Blue Line. “Our service members’ children and families are so excited to have this great opportunity, and we are very grateful.”


Defending The Blue Line is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by a group of active duty National Guard soldiers in Minnesota. The charity assists families of all branches of the military with costs associated with hockey. They provide financial assistance for registration fees, free equipment, and recently through a growing partnership with the Herb Brooks Foundation, they offer a variety of hockey camps for military kids at no charge.


“With my Grandfather and Great Grandfather both having been in the military, I have a great appreciation and respect for the sacrifices our service members make to defend our freedom everyday. I think Defending The Blue Line is doing a great job of taking care of military families by helping out with equipment and other costs related to hockey, while the camps from the Herb Brooks Foundation will allow many more deserving kids to play the game,” said Brent Burns, Minnesota Wild defenseman and strong supporter of Defending The Blue Line. “I'm proud to be associated with these programs, and look forward to working with them on future projects.”


Herb Brooks Foundation Executive Director Skip Peltier commented on the growing partnership with Defending The Blue Line:


“Since our inception in 2003, the Herb Brooks Foundation has had the opportunity to give the game back to many deserving kids. Partnering with Defending The Blue Line and our military families is one of the most rewarding programs we have ever been involved with. Considering Herb’s Olympic legacy and patriotic spirit, we are honored to be helping the very people who give us the freedom to do what we do. We know this would make Herb very proud.”

Check out

and of course, for more information on the Herb Brooks Foundation please visit their website at Become a fan on Facebook at Follow them at

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