Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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NHL/NHLPA talks done for the night, will meet again Friday

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: November 8, 2012 - 6:00 PM

The NHL and NHLPA met for another five hours this afternoon in New York, and the good news is the two sides, which includes Wild owner Craig Leipold, will meet for a fourth consecutive day on Friday. This comes after the two No. 2's -- Bill Daly and Steve Fehr -- met for much of the day Saturday in a series of brainstorming sessions.

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr met with gathered media a few minutes ago outside a Times Square law firm, and according to tweets from those reporters, Fehr didn't divulge details of today's talks, confirmed they'll reconvene Friday and did confirm that the NHL responded to NHLPA proposals yesterday regarding revenue sharing and the player share of league revenues.

Commissioner Gary Bettman also told gathered reporters, according to Twitter, that there is "still a lot of work to do."

So, both tight-lipped, and no vitriol rhetoric.

That's good. I'm told by a source that the meetings have been "constructive" and there's been "some progress."

My thoughts: The good news is the two sides continue to meet in an attempt to grind this thing out rather than storming off in a huff and a puff in 10 minutes. This is not something that can be done overnight. The hope is they continue to meet and grind this out rather than having any more blow ups and dark periods because it's become quite obvious that the objective here is to start the season by Dec. 1.

Things did not end well last night, I'm told, and this thing could have very easily headed south today after the NHLPA made a counterproposal to the player share late Wednesday.

The league was expecting to go to a 50/50 split and negotiate the "Make Whole" part of the league's Oct. 16 proposal (where the owners ensure the players are paid back the 12.3 percent cut in their salaries) Wednesday.

Instead, after talking about revenue sharing for much of the day, the NHLPA proposed a deal where the player share gradually reduced to 50/50. It would get there by Year 3.

The league responded to that today, and although the league clearly was not happy, the good news is they at least apparently talked out their differences today rather than going their separate ways.

Both sides are expected to meet internally tonight before meeting again Friday.

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In other Wild news, Team Russia is traveling around Canada facing All-Stars from the Quebec League, Ontario League and Western League in a 6-game Subway Super Series.

Right now and Monday at 6 p.m. on the NHL Network, you can see Wild prospect Tyler Graovac face the Russians. Graovac leads the OHL with 18 goals.

On Nov. 14 and 15, you can watch Matt Dumba and the WHL All-Stars face Team Russia.

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