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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Aeros roster filling up with Wild prospects; Donald Fehr's greatest hits as lockout approaches

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: September 13, 2012 - 2:03 PM

Even though this was expected for weeks if no deal was close between the NHL and the Players’ Association, the reality of an NHL lockout hit this morning when NHL clubs placed nearly 60 players on waivers for the purpose of being assigned to their American Hockey League affiliates in the event of a work stoppage.

 
As I reported yesterday, the Wild actually assigned more than 20 players today, but most of those names didn’t require waivers.
 
Drew Bagnall, Brian Connolly, Chay Genoway, Carson McMillan and Jarod Palmer did, and thus can technically be plucked off waivers by 11 a.m. Friday. However, they presumably won’t and will be assigned to Houston with the rest of the lot.
 
Stephane Veilleux and Jake Dowell were not placed on waivers, so they will not be in Houston.
 
The Wild hasn’t announced what players it has assigned because it’s not done informing all of them, but my guess is the same as yesterday: Mikael Granlund, Marco Scandella, Matt Hackett, Darcy Kuemper, Charlie Coyle, Jonas Brodin, Brett Bulmer, Johan Larsson, Jason Zucker, Zack Phillips, Tyler Cuma, Chad Rau, Steve Kampfer, Kyle Medvec, Justin Fontaine, David McIntyre, Joel Broda, Kris Foucault, Josh Caron and Colton Jobke.
 
As previously mentioned, Jared Spurgeon will not be sent to Houston, nor 2012 first-round pick Matt Dumba because he is not eligible.
 
Sean Lorenz is on an AHL deal, so he doesn’t need to be “assigned.”
 
Nick Palmieri is technically holding out (see yesterday’s blog).
 
Should be a good team, those Aeros. If you want to watch games, NBC Sports Network may air some AHL games, but all games should be streamed online at AHL Live, which can be purchased on ahl.com.
 
Also, all Aeros game radio broadcasts are free on aeros.com. You’ll be in the capable hands of Joe O’Donnell, who can also be followed on Twitter at @aero-joe.

So, it’ll all be about the Aeros during the lockout. In fact, maybe Aeros GM Jim Mill should just get it over with and move into Chuck Fletcher’s office while he’s in New York for the Board of Governors meeting.
 
I kid, I kid.
 
As for Fox Sports North, it’s preparing a package of “Classic Wild” games during the lockout, presumably full of 2003 playoff games (Andrew Brunette’s heroics), a certain 5-goal game by a former player, a certain third period comeback against Chicago.
 
FSN obviously has a full slate of programming with Twins, Wolves, Gophers hockey and high school games, so right now it has said it is looking into the possibility of airing some Aeros games on the network. But that’s not a guarantee and obviously wouldn’t be all anyway.
 
As for the lockout, Executive Director of the NHLPA, Donald Fehr, had a press conference today in New York, where he was flanked by some of the game’s biggest stars – Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Daniel Alfredsson, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Zdeno Chara, Ryan Getzlaf, Jason Spezza and none other than Wild forward Zach Parise were in camera’s view.
 
The mic was open for 10 minutes before Fehr came out, so everything was heard, like Crosby and Getzlaf talking about their golf games.
 
Parise reportedly said similar comments today as he did to me last week – that Commissioner Gary Bettman loves himself a lockout.
 
Of course, it’s not as if Bettman is working independently here. He does work for 30 ownership groups, so obviously he’s at their direction.
 
But I get the player frustration.
 
Fehr said there were no new developments and he wouldn’t comment if there would be an NHLPA or NHL offer before Saturday’s 11 p.m. lockout deadline.
 
Lots of similar rhetoric from Fehr: a lockout is a choice from the owners, the owners want the players to absorb all the burden, etc.
 
Some of Fehr’s greatest hits:
 
On a lockout: “If it comes to that, it was a choice being made [by the NHL]. It’s not a requirement.”
 
That the owners originally wanted a 24 percent rollback, now is down to 17.5 percent.
 
The players want “shared sacrifice. … Is there any other cost or expense … anywhere in which the owners are prepared to say we’ll constrain expenses, too?” He added, so far, “no.”
 
Fehr said after all the concessions the owners received the last lockout, they want to “see what else they can get.” [Russo note: This is a common theme, but the last CBA worked out pretty, pretty good for the players, which is why we’re in this position again. Accelerated free agency, exorbitant second contracts, long-term deals, no-trade clauses given out like candy, 57 percent of a $3.3 billion business].
 
Fehr said all the owners are interested in is talking about salary reductions and that he’s surprised and “significantly disappointed” that the league’s richer teams, according to Fehr, are not willing to aid the teams struggling through significant, meaningful and innovative revenue sharing.
 
"We'd like agreement that stabilizes this industry, allows markets that need to grow to grow."
 
Fehr also said that after a work stoppage, the players are free to reconsider their positions. I think Fehr’s objective here is to go after the salary cap, which would be a non-starter for the NHL. If he does, forget this season. But I really believe that’s his end-game. That’s why he keeps mentioning that the only sport with labor peace since 1994 is baseball.
 
He fought against the cap then, it cost baseball the World Series and baseball eventually gave up on it.
 
Board of Governors availability is in 30 minutes. I’ll get on the conference call with Bettman and pass along his greatest hits. I’m assuming that Wild owner Craig Leipold still has to follow league guidelines as far as a public gag order.

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Washington 27
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
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Miami
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Houston
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Chicago
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Charlotte 44
Atlanta 7:00 PM
Houston
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Dallas
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Denver
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Arizona 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Colorado 2 2nd Prd
Buffalo 0
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Toronto 3
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Montreal 1
Washington 0 2nd Prd
New Jersey 0
Tampa Bay 0 2nd Prd
NY Islanders 0
Florida 1 1st Prd 1:18
Pittsburgh 2
NY Rangers 0 2nd Prd
Carolina 1
Chicago 0 2nd Prd
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UNC Greensboro 64
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Penn State 73
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PSU-Beaver 74 FINAL
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Indiana State 56
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Oregon 83
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UT Martin 77
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Florida 63
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Santa Clara 72
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Texas State 90
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Notre Dame 94
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Sam Houston St 61
Xavier 64 2nd Half 3:01
Auburn 63
Bluffton 27 1st Half 1:33
Akron 43
NJIT 45 2nd Half
Central Conn St 38
Hofstra 28 1st Half 3:52
Columbia 29
Boston Univ 20 1st Half 4:34
Dayton 31
Iona 38 1st Half 0:54
George Mason 45
Valparaiso 33 2nd Half
IUPU-Ft Wayne 42
Texas A&M 26 1st Half 2:16
Kansas State 36
Morgan State 33 2nd Half
Manhattan 31
Saint Josephs 37 2nd Half
Marist 22
East Carolina 23 2nd Half
UNC-Wilmington 33
Richmond 33 2nd Half
Pepperdine 32
La Salle 32 1st Half 0:02
Towson 15
Incarnate Word 25 1st Half 2:19
UMKC 40
CS-Bakersfield 14 1st Half 11:14
Idaho State 12
Iowa 11 1st Half 12:40
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Texas
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TCU
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Portland
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San Diego St
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Utah State
Stanford 10:00 PM
BYU
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UNLV
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 10 3rd Qtr 11:43
Air Force 20
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
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Rice
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North Carolina
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UCF
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Virginia Tech
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(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
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Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Livingstone 77 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Dartmouth 70
Georgia Tech 65 FINAL
St Francis-NY 59
Auburn 49 FINAL
St Johns 56
East Tenn St 56 FINAL
Jacksonville St 57
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Detroit 57
Cal-Irvine 42 FINAL
Wright State 80
Gardner-Webb 47 FINAL
Kennesaw St 50
(7) Stanford 40 FINAL
(11) Tennessee 59
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Ole Miss 71
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(1) South Carolina 80
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Army 70
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Niagara 60
Texas State 57 FINAL
Stetson 75
George Mason 65 FINAL
ULM 53
Grambling 38 FINAL
Kansas State 61
Missouri 79 FINAL
Wake Forest 64
Robert Morris 59 FINAL
Cornell 70
Air Force 44 FINAL
Abilene Christian 80
Hampton 53 FINAL
James Madison 85
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MD-Eastern Shore 52
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TX A&M-CC 68
Tenn Tech 49 FINAL
NC A&T 54
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NC Central 33
Penn 58 FINAL
Drexel 67
Lipscomb 38 FINAL
Xavier 62
Vermont 40 FINAL
Green Bay 60
Charleston Southern 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 80
Ohio Christian 62 FINAL
Akron 97
Jacksonville 62 FINAL
Murray State 80
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Iona 58
Indiana 88 FINAL
Oakland 61
Indiana State 64 FINAL
SMU 55
Denver 51 FINAL
Purdue 65
TX-San Antonio 48 FINAL
Texas Tech 64
UCF 57 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 79
Campbell 66 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 55
Florida A&M 67 FINAL
SE Louisiana 69
Northwestern St 61 FINAL
Jackson State 62
Lehigh 61 FINAL
Arizona State 81
Valparaiso 65 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 77
Liberty 60 FINAL
Minnesota 74
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North Florida 68
Montana State 61 FINAL
Washington St 82
Marshall 56 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 69
Morgan State 40 FINAL
Chattanooga 55
Northeastern 65 FINAL
Harvard 67
Furman 51 FINAL
(15) Georgia 58
(18) Michigan State 65 FINAL
(9) Baylor 84
Ohio U 52 FINAL
Massachusetts 59
Prairie View 48 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 86
Toledo 64 FINAL
Southern Ill 48
High Point 57 FINAL
(12) Nebraska 83
Winthrop 20 FINAL
Wichita State 66
William Jewell 59 FINAL
UMKC 51
Louisiana Tech 52 FINAL
Utah 67
Southern Utah 51 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
Hawaii 85 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 76
San Jose St 62 FINAL
San Francisco 77
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Loyola-Maryland 59
Arizona 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 72
Northwestern 44 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 92
Oral Roberts 52 FINAL
Wisconsin 70
Florida Atlantic 44 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
La Salle 45 2nd Half 13:10
Georgia State 48
(16) Oregon State 58 2nd Half 11:00
Nevada 31
Sacred Heart 45 2nd Half
Villanova 22
Delaware 28 1st Half 0:07
Cincinnati 31
Troy 31 2nd Half
Tennessee St 30
Saint Louis 6:30 PM
Utah Valley U
Washington 7:00 PM
UC-Riverside
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Long Beach St
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