Russo Chat Recap

Star Tribune beat writer extraordinaire Michael Russo took questions from the Wild faithful this afternoon. Here's the gist of it.

On Burns:

He's still having symptoms. This could very well go to the end of the season.

On the off-season:

Nolan has one more year. I see the Wild going after Saku Koivu. I don't see the Sedin Twins coming here though.

On coaching:

I do believe Constantine would be the automatic front runner, although it's imperative the Wild at least does its due diligence and look at other candidates IF Jacques leaves.
Constantine is a defensive coach who likes to pressure the puck. He's big into communication, big into rewarding his team with rest and HUGE, HUGE, HUGE into video. Huge. That'll be the biggest change. There would be lots of showing up early for video lessons.

On Gaborik:

As I reported a few weeks ago when the team was in Denver, the Wild is very interested in signing Gaborik to a short-term deal. Why wouldn't Gaborik just wait to see which teams offer him that short-term deal? And if he waits, that usually makes the likelihood of a player returning to his team, uh, unlikely.

 


On the future of the front office:

I still don't see anything big happening other than perhaps a coaching change.  Time will tell.

On free agency:

If Jacques leaves, I don't see Skoula being re-signed. I could see Bergeron allowed to leave. And I don't see Stephane Veilleux returning. He wants to be paid over $1 million, and Cal Clutterbuck is an easy replacement.

On whether the Wild make the post-season:

I don't think they will. I feel plus-90 points make it. That's 15 of the next 20 points to get to 91. That means the Wild needs to win all the games it's supposed to win -- and more. And the Wild doesn't always win the games it's supposed to win.

On the Wild's offensive woes

The Wild has almost become solely a dump and chase team the past month. And when you dump and chase, but you don't get there first, or you're completely unwilling to lay a body into an opponent to get the puck first, it is completely a recipe for failure. Nolan can dump and chase. Others, no.

On the complacency

Fans are getting frustrating. The Wild often gets very complacent because there's no pressure when the building is full every night. Pittsburgh, they often step up and make gutsy moves, especially at the deadline, and look what's happened. Gone from 11th to fifth in the East, I believe.
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