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 still at the bargaining table; Granlund pulled from Aeros lineup

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: January 5, 2013 - 9:37 PM

Despite tweets by a handful of former NHL players earlier today that the lockout had ended, there were still a "few significant issues that need resolution," a source close to negotiations told me an hour ago.

The good news is both the NHL (Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and a few lawyers) and the NHLPA (the Fehr Brothers, Don and Steve, lawyers and a number of players) are still trying to hammer it out.

"The parties have been meeting since approximately 12:45 pm today," Daly emailed the Star Tribune just before 7 p.m. CT. "Slow progress is being made. We hope to continue meeting to resolve as many open issues as we possibly can in pursuit of an agreement."

Update as of 10:37 PM ET: Parties are still meeting. Good dialogue and give and take, still work to be done.

I am told there is good reason for my favorite phrase, cautious optimism. I am also told that the "motivation on both sides is that we could get a couple of more games in if we finish this weekend."

But again, nothing is done until both sides say the deal is done and a new collective bargaining agreement is ratified.

Originally, the league said a deal must be done by Jan. 11 for training camp to start Jan. 12 and a 48-game season Jan. 19.

But the league and players would love to get in a 50- or 52-game schedule in at minimum. As of now, players have missed six paychecks and the league has lost, according to Bettman, $20 million a day in revenue.

As of 5 p.m. CT, the player vote concluded to give Don Fehr the authorization to file a disclaimer of interest and dissolve the union. He hasn't pulled that trigger with talks gaining traction.

More to come (and more info on the previous blog).

BREAKING #mnwild news: Mikael Granlund pulled from #Aeros lineup after warmups; Wild doesn't want to risk injury in case #nhl camp on horizon. GM Chuck Fletcher said the Wild came close to doing so last night. Granlund is slotted as the No. 2 Wild center in camp.

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