Anyway, this week Saku Koivu (former Montreal Canadiens' teammate of our favorite goalie) made a return to Montreal with the Anaheim Ducks. Russo had a few quotes from José about Saku:
Because of the three-hour time change between east and west coast, Wild captain Mikko Koivu was hoping to catch the start of Saturday's Anaheim-Montreal game. It was older brother Saku's first return to Montreal, the team he captained for nine of his 13 seasons with the Canadiens.
"It's going to be very emotional for him," said Mikko Koivu.
Wild goalie Jose Theodore was longtime teammates with Saku Koivu in Montreal.
"There are a lot of similarities between Mikko and Saku," Theodore said. "Very educated, very honest. You can see they came from the same family. Saku, it's almost like me and him grew up together. We started the same year, we played together seven or eight years, he was my captain.
"I even sometimes catch myself calling Mikko 'Saku' because they kind of look alike."
And here is a photo of José and the elder Koivu in 2002. This was Saku's first game back after his battle with cancer.
A The way this conference is going, it's hard to imagine the Wild not being in it. But if the postseason is a long shot by the Feb. 28 deadline, I expect Chuck Fletcher to shop potential unrestricted free agents Andrew Brunette, John Madden, Chuck Kobasew, Antti Miettinen and Jose Theodore. If it's got a chance, the Wild should have the cap room to make a move, perhaps for a scoring winger. But the Wild's hoping defenseman Marek Zidlicky will be back by then and maybe Guillaume Latendresse after that.
Q Does Josh Harding have any chance of being re-signed or will the Wild keep Jose Theodore and Niklas Backstrom? -- eighteen
A With Dennis Endras perhaps coming across the pond and developing youngsters Matt Hackett and Darcy Kuemper in the fold, I think Harding will have to sign a two-way contract elsewhere to reestablish his career. Theodore has been good and a great teammate, but he may get a better shot elsewhere to be a No. 1. The Wild will consider bringing him back at the right money.
Q Did you actively seek a job in MN to cover the Wild? If so, why? If not, why? -- dahockeyguru
A Funny, Theodore asked me Wednesday if I was "transferred" here. Doesn't work like that. I was interested in the job when it was open in 2003 but never pursued it aggressively. When it was open again in 2005, I did. After the lockout, I sensed the Panthers were becoming less and less relevant with my former newspaper and in the marketplace, and I wanted to remain a hockey writer and in a hockey market.
I read somewhere that when José went 100% at practice on Friday, he felt perfect. But now I can't find that, so I guess you'll have to take my word for it until I find it again. Stupid geriatric brain...