If you are already a fan of the Minnesota Wild then I probably don’t have to tell you who Michael Russo is. But if you are someone that is just getting into hockey, or for one reason or another you just want to learn more about the NHL club from “The State of Hockey”, then Russo should be one of the first journalists you read.
Famous across the hockey world, Russo’s 23-year long career covering the NHL has made him one of the best known writers in the sport. He rose to prominence through covering the Florida Panthers for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel before heading north to cover the Wild for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Like many current great hockey writers, Russo now calls The Athletic home, and you can read up on his genius through the site on a daily basis.
Michael Russo – A Media Guru
From traditional journalism, to radio, to social media and TV appearances, Michael Russo has done it all. A regular guest on NHL Network, Russo is comfortable in front of the camera, where his expertise is called upon whenever the Wild are a hot topic of conversation.
It can be a difficult task to make preseason hockey engaging for fans who care more about the start of the regular season when they get to see their favorite players in action in games that actually matter. Yet it is clear that Russo makes a deliberate attempt in his writing to engage readers and tell a story that brings a unique spin to an otherwise somewhat boring event.
When the Wild faced off against the St. Louis Blues in Des Moines for a preseason game in Wells Fargo Arena, home to the Iowa Wild (not to be confused with Wells Fargo Center, home to the Philadelphia Flyers), Russo took an interesting approach with his coverage. Instead of focusing too much on the actual on-ice play of the game (which ended a 3-2 victory for the Blues), he talked more about the location of the event in Des Moines, home to the AHL affiliate of the Wild that is actually located in Blues broadcast territory. The arena hit a record capacity of 14,282 attendees with fans of both clubs participating in events leading up to puck drop. It is great to see hockey flourishing in an area of the country where you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see the sport thrive. If you want to read the whole story you can find it here.
Thinking Outside the Box
I read enough hockey writing to know that certain topics can be absolutely dreadful to pay attention to if they aren’t approached with a bit of creativity. Writers who find ways to add this creative element to their work, while also retaining the informative aspect required of their job, are often considered the best of the best. Taking a minute to step away from the on-ice product and focus on a unique facet of an otherwise pretty meaningless preseason game is a fabulous approach, in my humble opinion.
Fan support in Des Moines is something I knew personally very little about, and I had no idea how it really is a melting pot of supporters from a couple different teams. I learned something new in only a few short sentences of Russo’s article, and I value that as journalism worth reading. To those fans who want to know how players are performing in the preseason, the article has that as well, along with player quotes and video of plays within the game. Russo also takes to twitter during games to tweet action as it unfolds.
Just expect some brutal honesty from time to time (this is from a recent preseason tilt against the Dallas Stars).
Koivu to the box for slashing.
I’ve covered way too much preseason hockey in my life. This is one bad game even by preseason standards
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) September 21, 2018
Overall, you really can’t go wrong with Russo’s coverage. You can find him across nearly every medium, sharing content with Wild fans and the hockey world as a whole. This one is a no-brainer for anyone trying to learn more about the Minnesota Wild, as Michael Russo is one of the many talented journalists that makes a subscription to The Athletic worth the price of admission.