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Russo’s Rants - Sources: Wild already has permission to speak to Richards

t’s been 25 hours since Chuck Fletcher was officially introduced as the Wild GM, and NHL sources say he already has permission to speak to the one coaching candidate I anticipate will be a heavy favorite — San Jose Sharks assistant coach Todd Richards. As you’ll see from this San Jose Mercury News blog by David Pollak, a Sharks’ spokesman has confirmed to David that the Sharks have given two teams permission to speak to the former Gophers star. Only the Wild, Edmonton and Calgary are without coaches, and I’ve confirmed through a league source that the Wild is one of the two. Lots of respect between Fletcher and Richards. Fletcher originally hired him in Wilkes-Barre. Yesterday morning, I talked to Penguins GM Ray Shero about Richards, and not only did he give him a glowing recommendation, he talked a lot about the skills Richards has and they’re probably not so coincidentally some of the ones Fletcher said he wants as the next Wild coach.

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