Top-5 Thursday: 5 Questions I'd Ask Michael Russo About His "72 Hours" Article

Author's note: After watching High Fidelity and remembering how enjoyable it is to make top five lists with friends, I'm going to try something new. Every Thursday I'm going to come up with a top five list that involves Minnesota Wild current events. Is it original? Hell No. Does that matter?

Another Thursday gone by, another Top-5 list held off until the weekend. I'm sure it's a pretty stupid thing to start off a project called "Top-5 Thursday" by having 2 of the first 3 lists on days other than Thursdays but with the prospect scrimmage and everything written this week, there hasn't been time. That should change after this weekend when the slow part of the off-season takes over and I'll try to actually post these lists on Thursdays.

Plus this week's topic is less of a list than actual questions.

One of the outstanding things about Minnesota signing both Ryan Suter and Zach Parise has been the coverage and no one did a better job than Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune with his "72 Hours of Pursuit, Anxiety and Elation" article. It's a thought provoking piece and goes to show what the Wild brass and Russo himself did throughout the free agency period before the duo signed matching 13 years, $98 million contracts. If you haven't read it, take a moment to do so - I'll be waiting. When you're done, I have the top-5 questions which came up on the other side of the jump.

1. In the article you mention being told that the deal was done by a source and held on to the information until it was official. That's not the case on the internet with rumor-mongerers being able to shape the landscape of discussion and people like @HockeyyInsiderr essentially cold-reading and covering up after the fact. As someone who was an early Twitter adopter among NHL writers and remains active on the site, how difficult was it to essentially debunk rumors yet hold onto legitimate information in an age where everyone tries to break news first?

2. Along the same lines as question #1: Is there a way to counteract rumor-mongerers and why do you believe the Eklunds and HockeyyInsiderrs are so popular?

3. You've been a beat writer for the Florida Panthers and Minnesota Wild and have broken or added to many stores over the years. Where do these series of events rank in coverage for you? What can you take away from the Parise and Suter story that will benefit your beat in the future?

4.TMZ and other paparazzis often get a bad reputation for stalking celebrities and trying to create news out of nothing. However, two of the bigger and more acclaimed things you (and the Star Tribune) were along similar lines holing up at airports to shanghai Parise and confirm that Neil Sheehy was on a flight with Craig Leipold. Is there a comparison between the two ethically and would you do the same thing again to get the story?

5. Although the article touches on many different angles from Craig Leipold to Chuck Fletcher to the agents to Parise and Suter themselves, it seems that if one person is the unsung hero in this it's Ryan Suter. However, before the article came out no one thought about Suter being the leader - it was always Parise. There is always some kind of bias coming out of writing - Minnesota fans saw that when no one put them on a list of finalists for either player even after Fletcher felt better about his chances - and Parise has been in a higher-profile market than Suter. Is that the only explanation for Ryan Suter getting overlooked in the 72 hours?

Agree? Disagree? Have a different question you would want to ask? Tell me in the comments.

And in the slim chance Michael Russo reads this and want to answer, email us at firstroundbust (at) gmail (dot) com.


  1. Another question I would like to know- "when you posted the 'Stars converging' story, how confident were you this was a done deal?"

    I know for me that was the point where only my own worry and pessimism kept me from believing. I doubted that story would be written if Russo wasn't pretty confident- if it had not happened the backlash would have been brutal.

  2. Russo said on KFAN Friday that he wished they hadn't rushed that story into print (tho he was still proud of it, as he should be), as some tidbits arrived post-deadline. I found it most interesting that the Wild apparently think they had a very good chance of landing Suter even without Parise.

    It makes sense to me. Zach has said it was Wild or Devils, and Suter is well known to not want to go East. Zach wanted to come home, but needed a reason to push him over the top. . .Ryan was that reason.