By Michael Russo
I decided to bring you all presents from Florida — the weather.
Couple Wild news items:
– Marian Gaborik remains in Colorado, where he’s rehabbing following surgery to repair a torn labrum. Trainer Don Fuller has travelled to Colorado to check in on Gaborik, and his rehab is going well, according to assistant GM Tom Lynn. Gaborik’s been riding the bike within a few days of surgery and seems on track to come back to Minnesota soon.
– The Wild is working to sign prospects Ondrej Fiala (second round, 2004) and Julien Sprunger (fourth round, 2004) by the June 1 deadline. I’d expect they’ll get them signed by the early part of the week of May 26.
– The Wild is currently in scouting meetings in Palm Springs.
– Funny, last year when I wrote at the Draft that the Wild was going to pursue Alexei Yashin, people didn’t believe me even though it was true. Now it’s being reported the Wild has interest in Yashin and people believe it when it’s not true.
I’ve been told as of now Yashin’s name has not come up within Wild offices and it has not had conversations with Yashin’s agent, Mark Gandler, as has been reported.
Here’s the deal: the Wild had genuine interest in Yashin last summer when it was reported he’d be willing to sign for little money. The Wild made an offer, and Yashin responded by asking for multiple millions of dollars, according to people in the know.
That left a sour taste in the Wild’s mouth, and as of now, it has no interest in revisiting him despite the strong season he had in Russia. That could change, of course, but this is what I’m being led to believe now.
For Immediate Release
SCHEDULE SET FOR 2008 WELLS FARGO WILD ROAD TOUR
TOUR TO VISIT 18 CITIES IN MINNESOTA BEFORE CONCLUDING IN SAINT PAUL
SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Minnesota Wild, in partnership with Wells Fargo, has announced the dates, times and locations of the 18-city 2008 Wells Fargo Wild Road Tour, which will begin Monday, June 9 and culminate with the third annual Wells Fargo Wild Summer Bash on Thursday, June 12 at Rice Park in downtown Saint Paul.
Russo note: To see the exact schedule and sites, go to wild.com.
Wild celebrities, including two Minnesota Wild players, will be present on each of the tour’s three legs. Wild players Derek Boogaard, Todd Fedoruk, Josh Harding, James Sheppard, Stephane Veilleux and Aaron Voros are scheduled to participate in the tour. Also appearing on the tour will be Assistant Coaches Bob Mason and Mike Ramsey, former Wild player and current Director of Community Partnerships Brad Bombardir and former NHL player and current Wild radio analyst Tom Reid (June 10-12).
Each tour stop will include a fundraising opportunity for local youth hockey associations. Wild partners Coca-Cola and Schweigert will be donating product for each city’s youth hockey association to sell at the stops, with all proceeds benefiting local youth hockey.
Saint Paul’s Rice Park will serve as the final destination for each leg, where tour members will join the Wells Fargo Wild Summer Bash on June 12. From 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. fans will have a chance to play hockey-themed games against Wild players and can take part in autograph sessions and photo opportunities with Wild celebrities. The event will also feature live-music, food and beverages and an opportunity to meet Wild broadcasters Bob Kurtz, Tom Reid and Dan Terhaar.
– Lastly, I’m way behind on returning emails — probably three weeks worth. I planned to get to them today, but now I’ve got a virus on my laptop. I’m getting a new one Tuesday, but leaving town again Wednesday.
So if you’re still waiting for a returned email, you’ll hear back from me sometime before June 1 most likely.
Have a good weekend.