Six days after talks broke off in a huff and a puff, the NHL and NHL Players' Association will return to the bargaining table on Wednesday.

At the union's request and league's agreement, the meeting will occur with a mediator in the room, something the league declined last week and Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league wasn't interested in Thursday.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says he has no expectations as to what may come out of returning to the table, but games have been canceled through Dec. 30. Today is Bettman's 20th anniversary as commissioner, by the way. The NHL has played almost a full season in every year he's been commish, too.

By the way, I am filling in for Paul Allen from 9-noon Thursday morning. Lining up guests, but Wild coach Mike Yeo will be on at 9:35 a.m. CT.


Gophers defenseman Blake Thompson, 21 from Eden Prairie, is leaving the University of Minnesota after not playing in the first half.

“While I’m disappointed in Blake’s decision to transfer, I respect his choice and appreciate his contributions to the program over the last two years,” coach Don Lucia said. “Our team and our staff wish him the best as he moves forward.”

It's unknown as of now where Thompson is headed. He only played in five games as a freshman.


The Houston Aeros crushed San Antonio 5-1 in front of a bunch of school kids this afternoon. That's the seventh win in eight games for the Wild's primary affiliate and points in 10 of the last 13 at home.

The Aeros are first in the AHL West's South Division.


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NHL cancels games through Dec. 30

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NHL, NHLPA done for the day, no progress reported