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 players, owners back at it today

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: December 5, 2012 - 9:51 AM


The 18 locked-out players and six NHL owners who met until midnight Eastern last night will be back at it today in New York City.

The sides gathered soon after 8 a.m. CT for internal meetings. At 10 a.m., the NHL is holding a Board of Governors meeting.

But it sounds like the two sides will meet again formally this afternoon after the meeting without Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr in the room. That is why it appears as if Bettman will now not hold his pre-announced news conference at noon CT.

That's a good thing. That means there's momentum that he doesn't want to risk dousing.

The NHLPA reportedly has a proposal to present, so it sounds like we are still very much in a give and take stage of this process.

Check out the previous blog, but the NHL and NHLPA held a brief, joint press scrum late last night in which NHLPA General Counsel Steve Fehr called it the "best day" of the process thus far.

This was a pretty positive symbolic moment. Typically meetings have ended throughout this process with the NHL and NHLPA meeting separately with the media and taking potshots at each other. As recent as last week, Steve Fehr and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly did coinciding radio interviews on the Fan in Toronto where they took potshots at each other.

Now, they were standing side by side in front of an NHLPA backdrop saying both sides wanted to make a deal. It's clear the Pittsburgh Penguins, led by Sidney Crosby and his billionaire owner, Ron Birkle, have taken control of this process.

Basically, the tone and the mood have changed. Owners and players were seen conversing, players left smiling. etc.

Players had a very positive conference call between sessions. Owners will get their first real update during the very critical board meeting. To me, this is still delicate because we're all hearing optimism and progress, and yet Bettman and Donald Fehr haven't been in the room yet, proposals haven't formally gone back and forth and the owners are about to get their first update.

Again, lots of work to be done, but it sounds like both sides spent yesterday's meeting compromising, with the owners relenting on some of the contracting changes they were seeking.

So stay tuned, but at least both sides are working for the common good now. I'll be back on later, but it'll have to be after Gophers availability today. Will it be for the last time?


Washington 0
Pittsburgh 7 FINAL
Detroit 3
Miami 3 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Boston - WP: K. Couch 11 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Reavis 8
NY Yankees - LP: M. Tanaka 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: T. Milone 3
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Baltimore 3
Philadelphia 6 FINAL
Toronto 10
Chicago Cubs 15 FINAL
Texas 10
Cincinnati - WP: M. Lorenzen 10 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Chicago WSox 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 1
Seattle 6 FINAL
Cleveland 8
Oakland - WP: J. Fuller 13 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: B. Loconsole 10
Texas 7 FINAL
Arizona 8
Houston 8 FINAL
Atlanta 5
Kansas City 4 FINAL
San Diego 1
Atlanta 95 FINAL
Detroit 105
Indiana 106 FINAL
Brooklyn 111
San Antonio 95 FINAL
Miami 81
Golden State 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 106
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 3
Carolina 2 FINAL
Washington 4
Florida 2 FINAL
Boston 3
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Detroit 1
Tampa Bay 1 FINAL
Toronto 3
NY Rangers 3 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 5 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
UT Martin 66 FINAL
Evansville 79
Miami-Florida 60 FINAL
Temple 57
Northern Ariz 68
Stanford 67 FINAL
Old Dominion 60


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