Michael Russo Goes Nuclear on Cam Talbot for Finger Pointing at Media

Photo: David Berding – USA TODAY Sports

Cam Talbot was not happy when the Minnesota Wild signed Marc-Andre Fleury last week. Well, depending on who you ask. Talbot met with media on Thursday, after being traded to the Ottawa Senators, and claimed he never wanted to leave Minnesota. It was Bill Guerin’s decision, he told reporters.

“I didn’t really want to be moved,” Talbot told reporters on Thursday. “It played out in the media that maybe I had some ill will toward the organization or something like that. It wasn’t like that at all.”Cam Talbot (via Star Tribune)

Talbot’s Agent Publicly Blows Up

Technically, he might be right. But, what else was the Minnesota Wild general manager supposed to think? Here he is, trying to lead his 3rd-ever draft, while Cam Talbot’s agent (George Bazos) is chewing his ass in a hallway at Bell Arena? Within sight range of major NHL reporters.

Moments after Bazos gave Billy a hallway tongue-lashing, Talbot’s agent channeled Cam’s frustration through media, telling Pierre LeBrun (TSN) that Guerin “has a lot to think about”. Billy, of course, spouted back later that night. By then, everyone had a pretty good handle on how Cam Talbot was feeling.

But nobody is more irritated with Talbot “talking out of both sides of his mouth” and “acting so innocent” through this situation than Michael Russo, the all-powerful and longtime Minnesota Wild beat reporter, now with The Athletic.

Russo Goes Off on Talbot

Russo went absolutely nuclear on Cam Talbot during Friday’s “Worst Seats in the House” podcast, which he hosts with Wild play-by-play commentator, Anthony LaPanta (Bally Sports North). Michael’s epic rant starts at the 19:00 mark and lasts about one minute. I’ve transcribed it in parts below.

“Cam Talbot, yesterday again, talking out of both sides of his mouth, acting so innocent here, it’s insane. He, on his conference call yesterday, said this is just something that played out and was overblown in the media. And that [media made it out to seem like] he had some sort of ill-will toward the organization, when it wasn’t like that at all. He will not explain what he means by that. Umm, excuse me, we watched your agent yelling at Bill Guerin!”Michael Russo (Worst Seats in the House Podcast)

Michael Russo is just revving up, in the quote above. His somewhat formal complaints are about to unravel into a complete tear-him-down tirade of Cam Talbot. The rest is transcribed throughout this blog. But if you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you back up and actually listen before continuing. I do my best to set his quotes up but there is no re-creating the shrill in Russo’s voice, as his anger cracks the microphone.

Talbot Fooling Nobody

Remember, this isn’t the only time someone else has voiced displeasure on Cam Talbot’s behalf. During the Wild’s 2022 playoff run, Talbot’s wife took to social media and let the world know that she (and likely her husband) were frustrated.

If Cam Talbot should take aim at anyone, it’s those within his own circle. Blaming the media, in this situation, isn’t fooling anyone. For Russo, he feels the Talbot family is firing shots in his direction and that’s clearly something he’s not willing to tolerate.

I can’t blame him. What happened between Bazos and Guerin, at the draft, wasn’t a journalistic mirage. The fact Cam ended up traded proved that media reports, specifically Russo’s, were right. So, is Cam requesting that reporters not do their jobs? Sure seems like it.

By this point of Russo’s rant, he is yelling into the microphone. LaPanta seems a bit taken aback.

“Bill Guerin couldn’t have made it clearer that you were not happy with the 50/50 split. This is not something that blew up in the media! Your wife tweeted after the season and that’s why this all happened. I don’t understand what Cam is trying to do here. And when [Talbot] said this, he’s obviously talking about me. I did not overblow that stuff at the end of the year. Clearly it was an issue in the Talbot household. He basically admitted he wasn’t happy with it. Then when I’m watching, an hour after the Fleury announcement, his agent is hot with Bill Guerin! I didn’t invent this stuff! This isn’t a figment of my imagination!” – Russo

Just admit you’re mad, Cam.

Nobody blames Cam Talbot for his frustrations. Michael Russo, included. Cam was brought in two offseasons ago to be the Minnesota Wild’s No. 1 goalie. Outside of some normal in-season swoons, he was even better than advertised.

Talbot was expecting a postseason split with Fleury. Why not? He went 13-0-2 in net to end the 2022 season. But he was shelved, instead. So, frustration is warranted. But be a man about it and admit your irritation. Don’t force your wife and agent to fight your battles for you, while you claim innocence.

“Bill Guerin wanted a Fleury/Talbot 50/50 split and traded him for a reason! This is not a media invention! I mean, it’s amazing. I love Cam, but enough with this BS! Just say you weren’t happy with the 50/50 split. Say you weren’t happy with the way they treated you down the stretch. But don’t blame this on the media.”Russo

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan