MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Who helped influence the trade of Martin Havlat for Dany Heatley? What will the Wolves do to keep improving during the NBA lockout? Did you know Jose Canseco nearly ended up playing baseball this summer in Minnesota?

Mike Max covered all that and more in his weekly news and notes.

Don’t think Wild captain Mikko Koivu didn’t endorse the team’s trade of Martin Havat for Dany Heatley to add much-needed offense to this team. And Koivu is the one Wild player who has a voice that counts.

New Houston Rockets’ coach Kevin McHale recently wanted to hire J.B. Bickerstaff away from the Timberwolves, but the Wolves have denied permission for them to talk to Bickerstaff so far.

As for staying in shape during the NBA lockout, the Wolves have hired personal trainers to work with the players on the current roster. Former DeLaSalle and Michigan State University star Alan Anderson played with Rick Rubio in Spain last season. Anderson said Rubio is a top flight player and person.

Gopher basketball forward Trevor Mbakwe continues to get national attention heading into his senior season. He was recently invited to a tryout for a national team, and now he’s been invited to participate in the prestigious LeBron James basketball camp.

If the faces at a recent Minnesota Lynx basketball game looked familiar, no, your eyes weren’t fooling you. Former Governor Jesse Ventura and former Timberwolf Kevin Garnett were there to take in the action one night.

We’re also getting word out of the University of Minnesota that hockey coach Don Lucia would not have gotten an extension unless he made a change in the coaching staff. That means assistant coach John Hill and bringing back former assistant Mike Guentzel, who is known to be a top recruiter that gets along well with players.

Ever wonder why Ben Revere of the Minnesota Twins goes after fly balls so aggressively in center field? It might be family bloodlines. His dad is a running backs coach at Eastern Kentucky.

“I always used to be a DB so dropping back really helps me out,” Revere said of playing center field. “It’s just like playing center field. I was a wide receiver too so with balls over my head, it helps me catch those.”

And as odd as it sounds, Jose Canseco nearly ended up playing baseball in the Twin Cities this summer. He attempted to join the St. Paul Saints, but the problem came when he wanted to bring his twin brother Ozzie Canseco with him.

“I thought about it until I realized it was a package deal and Ozzie came with it,” said Saints President Mike Veeck. “Ozzie argues every ball and strike, games suddenly are four hours.”


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