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Michael Rand is joined by Andrew Krammer as they set up the start of Vikings free agency in a couple of weeks. Krammer reported on general manager Rick Spielman's long session with reporters on Wednesday and distills that information into some big takeaways as the Vikings face a lot of decisions and a shrinking salary cap.

At the outset of the show, Rand breaks down what could be a defining night in Minnesota sports: Zach Parise is benched for the Wild's 5-1 loss, a move that showed a lack of accountability on Parise's part but could divide the team. The Wolves were blown out again, and Karl-Anthony Towns' patience is wearing thin. And the Gophers lost by 19 at Penn State, doing nothing to help Richard Pitino's job security.

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Questions? Comments? Long-winded diatribes about nothing in particular? E-mail me at Follow me on Twitter @RandBall and Star Tribune sports @StribSports