With the NHL lockout approaching 80 days, more than two dozen players continue to skate daily at Ridder Arena.
That includes Wild players such as Niklas Backstrom, Mikko Koivu, Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Brodziak and several other NHLers, including former Gophers Erik Johnson, Keith Ballard and Kyle Okposo.
"It's like Groundhog Day," said the Wild's Zach Parise, echoing the sentiment of many who are trying to stay sharp in case the lockout suddenly ends and training camp begins.
"I'm still optimistic that will happen. I think people are smart enough to know we can't miss a full NHL season. I've been proved wrong before, but I can't get my mind around missing a full season."
Matt Cullen agreed, saying, "I just think this is so needless. That's the shame of it. It's pointless. It's ridiculous that it's taking this long. I really don't think the issues that divide us are so much that it should cost us a season. It'd be an absolute shame for the game, for the fans, and it would just be a travesty. I honestly still believe it's going to get done."
Owners from six teams -- Boston, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Winnipeg, Tampa Bay and Calgary -- and six players, including superstars Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews, are supposed to meet Tuesday in New York to try to get dialogue and positive traction from fresh voices.
"I'm for whatever gets people in the room chatting," Parise said." I think it's a good idea to get new people in there. Let's get some new ideas, let's try to get something positive to build on."
On Wednesday, the NHL Board of Governors will meet. Cullen said he thinks it would be a good idea to establish a drop-dead date in order to put pressure on both sides to get a deal done.
"It's scary whenever there's a deadline out there, but if that's what we need to spur it on, fine," Cullen said. "Everyone knows time is slipping and we're getting close to some sort of breaking point anyway because once you get past Christmas, we're either going to be playing or they'll be canceling the season soon.
"So as frustrating as this has been for all of us, you've got to start ramping it up because if we're going to play, it's going to be soon."Spurgeon injured
Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon returned to Minneapolis on Monday after injuring his groin while playing in Switzerland during the lockout, agent Eustace King said.
He will be examined by local doctors, and if the injury is minor, he might return to Switzerland if the lockout continues and the injury heals.
Devin Setoguchi (ECHL's Ontario Reign) and Clayton Stoner (Banska Bystrica in Slovakia) are the other Wild players skating elsewhere.Junior achievement
Wild draft picks Tyler Graovac and Matt Dumba were invited Monday to Canada's world junior selection camp this month. Raphael Bussieres, who scored 10 goals and 23 points for Baie-Comeau of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last month, was not chosen.
Jonas Brodin, who won gold with Sweden last winter, will miss the tournament because of a broken clavicle, while Christoph Bertschy is expected to play for Switzerland.
Mario Lucia is expected to be chosen Tuesday to attend the United States' camp. The tournament is Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Ufa, Russia.Etc.
• The Houston Aeros have won five consecutive games. Jason Zucker leads all American Hockey League rookie forwards with 11 goals, a league-leading six on power plays.
Mikael Granlund, who has missed 12 games because of a sprained ankle, is expected to return this weekend.
|Golden State||7:00 PM|
|Oklahoma City||9:30 PM|
|Vancouver||0||1st Prd 7:45|
|Arizona||1||1st Prd 7:33|
|Montreal||2||1st Prd 9:01|
|St. Louis||7:00 PM|
|East Tenn St||54||2nd Half 8:46|
|Winthrop||16||1st Half 7:04|
|Delaware||24||1st Half 7:45|
|Jacksonville St||16||1st Half 7:47|
|Northeastern||14||1st Half 6:38|
|Sacred Heart||28||1st Half 6:20|
|Western Carolina||17||1st Half 7:30|
|Char Southern||20||1st Half 8:43|
|Western Ill||16||1st Half 10:30|
|Nebraska Omaha||11||1st Half 11:48|
|Radford||8||1st Half 9:34|
|St Francis-NY||12||1st Half 9:33|
|Wofford||23||1st Half 5:09|
|Minnesota||19||1st Half 10:38|
|High Point||24||1st Half 7:58|
|Samford||18||1st Half 10:08|
|Nebraska||15||1st Half 6:22|
|Wagner||15||1st Half 8:18|
|Mount St Marys||7||1st Half 10:30|
|Houston||28||1st Half 6:58|
|Vanderbilt||16||1st Half 7:47|
|Chattanooga||23||1st Half 8:00|
|Milwaukee||22||1st Half 8:05|
|Coastal Carolina||15||1st Half 9:30|
|Central Conn St||21||1st Half 8:30|
|Ga Southern||6:30 PM|
|SIU Edwardsville||7:00 PM|
|Green Bay||7:00 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Eastern Ill||7:00 PM|
|North Dakota St||7:00 PM|
|Old Dominion||7:00 PM|
|TX-San Antonio||7:00 PM|
|UT Martin||7:00 PM|
|Fla Atlantic||7:00 PM|
|Northern Ariz||7:00 PM|
|Grand Canyon||7:05 PM|
|Utah Valley U||7:05 PM|
|Georgia State||7:30 PM|
|Tenn Tech||8:00 PM|
|Southern Utah||8:00 PM|
|Montana State||8:05 PM|
|UC Davis||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|UC Irvine||9:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton||9:00 PM|
|Arizona State||9:30 PM|
|San Diego||10:00 PM|
|St Marys-CA||10:00 PM|
|Oregon State||10:00 PM|
|Long Beach State||10:59 PM|
|Marshall||68||2nd Half 2:32|
|TX-Arlington||44||2nd Half 9:51|
|ULM||30||2nd Half 12:05|
|Georgia State||31||2nd Half|
|LSU||11||1st Half 8:34|
|(11) Miss State||10||1st Half 11:14|
|(2) South Carolina||15|
|North Texas||15||1st Half 11:20|
|Western Ky||23||1st Half 9:03|
|William & Mary||33||1st Half 5:26|
|Coll of Charleston||26|
|Delaware||20||1st Half 7:41|
|UMBC||8||1st Half 10:48|
|UMass Lowell||12||1st Half 9:56|
|Albany||16||1st Half 7:40|
|Stony Brook||12||1st Half 9:05|
|Boston College||6||1st Half 12:00|
|(23) Syracuse||17||1st Half 10:20|
|(16) Duke||8||1st Half 10:16|
|Florida||14||1st Half 9:52|
|NC State||15||1st Half 9:08|
|(9) Florida State||21|
|Miami-Florida||26||1st Half 5:03|
|Fairfield||23||1st Half 7:23|
|Marist||16||1st Half 8:17|
|Quinnipiac||19||1st Half 11:40|
|Virginia||18||1st Half 10:55|
|(15) North Carolina||8|
|Pittsburgh||19||1st Half 9:02|
|(4) Notre Dame||31|
|Ohio State||22||1st Half 7:34|
|Indiana||21||1st Half 7:28|
|Massachusetts||12||1st Half 11:00|
|(22) George Washington||19||1st Half 10:08|
|Saint Louis||8||1st Half 6:21|
|Wright State||23||1st Half 7:36|
|Green Bay||24||1st Half 7:52|
|Central Arkansas||6:30 PM|
|Sam Houston St|
|SE Louisiana||6:30 PM|
|(12) Texas A&M|
|No Dakota State|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||7:00 PM|
|Incarnate Word||7:00 PM|
|Stephen F Austin|
|Western Ill||7:00 PM|
|South Dakota St|
|Southern Miss||7:00 PM|
|(13) Kentucky||7:00 PM|
|(20) Rutgers||7:00 PM|
|North Dakota||7:30 PM|
|(24) California||8:00 PM|
|(19) Stanford||8:00 PM|
|(7) Oregon State|
|San Francisco||8:00 PM|
|Northern Colorado||8:00 PM|
|(6) Tennessee||8:00 PM|
|Chicago State||8:00 PM|
|Utah Valley U|
|Eastern Washington||8:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||9:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|UC Santa Barbara||9:00 PM|
|Long Beach St|
|Cal Poly||9:00 PM|
Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?