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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Rejected: Talks are off again in a bizarre night in the NHL

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: December 6, 2012 - 6:39 PM

So, mere minutes after Donald Fehr strutted up to a microphone to tell the world there was an agreement on dollars and it was just a matter of time before the lockout ended, the executive director proved he jumped the gun in a magnificent way.

With players at the podium ready to talk, Fehr returned to tell the media on the scene that he received a voicemail from the NHL that the offer was unacceptable and "It looks like this is not going to be resolved in the immediate future."

Talks have officially broken off, Fehr said. He said he would talk to his membership.

Said Steve Fehr, the NHLPA's General Counsel, in a Tim Panaccio tweet of the voicemail rejection minutes after a newser saying the thing was close: "Not only is it unusual, I would be hard pressed to think of anything comparable in my experience ..."

I'm on a plane right now. People around me are wondering why I'm laughing at my screen.

Maybe it's because the NHL has sadly turned into a laughingstock. Total gong show tonight.

I knew something was strange.

As you can see on my Twitter, I got a negative text before the presser from a source, I get up in the air and Fehr's saying it's done, I go to my email and the same source is saying he's jumping the gun. I was literally dizzy.

Regardless, I go to delta.com to literally see if there was a way I can return to Minneapolis right after I land, and just as I'm about to change my return, Fehr's back at the podium saying, no deal. Just a total mess.

And like I said, how do the players go from mediation a few hours ago to allegedly having a deal with the NHL, and announcing this before the NHL has a chance to review the proposal? Ridiculousness.

Let's wait til the next chapter. I'll be updating the blog after the league speaks. Like I said, I'm in the air, so there are plenty of reporters to follow on Twitter who are on the scene.

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