Monday, April 8, 2013

Russo's Chat of Gold

Today, Mike Russo used a Wild off day, to take part in one of his few Wild chats throughout the year. I took to reading the chat replay this evening, with very low expectations. I love Russo and think he is simply one of the best in the business, but his chats in the past have been rather, well, not informative enough (Some of the questions that get asked are ridiculous. I can only imagine the ones he doesn't answer).

But this chat was definitely not lacking useful information this time.

If you want to read the full chat, click here. Meanwhile, for those staying (Thanks!), I am going to go over those great nuggets of info Russo left for us today. Here we go...

  • White jerseys will be revamped next year, while red and green ones will remain. Its probably already been mentioned by Russo at some point this year, but its worth mentioning again. Get ready to part ways with the road jerseys circa 2000. Maybe look for something similar to either Houston Aeros white jersey (Main, alternate)?
  • The Aeros will most likely be leaving Houston and relocating to Des Moines, Iowa. It will be nice from a fan's perspective, making road trips to the farm team much easier and less costly. But I have read the Wild did not want their AHL team to leave Houston, and have been trying tirelessly to keep the team there.
  • The Wild will definitely be looking into re-signing Jason Pominville. Well given the kings ransom we just gave up for him (Just saying!), and the fact he has looked sharp in two games despite little practice, I would dear god hope so.
  • The Wild have inquired about Thomas Vanek from Buffalo. I think we can wait out another year until he hits free agency. Trading for him next year, with the cap going down to $64.3M, is dicey. 
  • The salary cap will continue to go up following the 2013-14 season. Lets hope for this, so we actually have a chance at getting Vanek.
  • If the Wild need a defenseman, for whatever reason, Marco Scandella will be that defenseman. When the Aeros season ends, the Wild can recall any player from Houston, without that player's salary counting towards the cap. Scandella has not had the best season, but maybe another shot at playing on the big club will get his game to take off.
  • Clayton Stoner will not be a healthy scratch this year. In Russo's blog last night, he mentioned how Yeo was impressed with Stoner's game against Columbus. Yeo believes that Stoner can only get better from here, so playing him is better than sitting him. I hope Yeo is right.
  • The Wild can beat Vancouver, Detroit, and Anaheim in a playoff series. Given the domination of all three teams lately, this team very well can. The Wild may not have a win against Anaheim, but they dominated play in the last two games. If the two teams meet in the playoffs, it should be a much different outcome for the Wild.
  • The Wild can not beat St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Chicago in a playoff series. It took shootouts for the Wild to beat Los Angeles and Chicago at home. Road games against the Hawks and Kings have been horrendous. St. Louis plays very big, (which does not matchup well for the Wild) and has dominated the Wild as well this year. Meanwhile, the Kings and Blackhawks, are quite fast, and the Wild are a bit lacking in the speed department.
  • My favorite point: Russo does not whine about traveling, he just critiques persistent maintenance delays. If you follow Russo on Twitter, you frequently finding him having some sort of delay that is preventing him from traveling. I find it very entertaining when this happens, as he loves to point out the flaws. Others call this whining.
So as you can see, lots and lots of info from the great Russo in this chat. Probably won't see another until the end of the season, whenever that is.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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