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 and Wild issue messages to their fans

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: September 16, 2012 - 10:12 AM

We're in lockout mode.

Here's my main article

How does this affect the Wild? Here's a look

Some other answers to questions can be read on the previous blog, and I will host a live lockout chat on startribune.com/wild at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

In the meantime, Monday, the Wild will be contacting season-ticket holders about their accounts with some of the options I have been writing about and the Wild staff has an all-company meeting to find out the team transition plan (that won't include imminent layoffs).

But as I've written, a game-night staff of more than 500 won't get paid as games are missed.

In the meantime, the NHL issued this on its web site, nhl.com, this morning, a site that no longer has any sign of a current NHL player on the home page, regarding the lockout that went into effect at 11:01 p.m. CT last night. Enjoy:

Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the Players and to the 30 NHL teams.

Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA, competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular season in pro sports; a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year; fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best, and the League has generated remarkable growth and momentum. While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change in the League's economic system, and produced corresponding on-ice benefits, our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division of revenues with the Players -- as well as other necessary adjustments consistent with the objectives of the economic system we developed jointly with the NHL Players' Association seven years ago. Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation -- not through rhetoric.

This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room. The League, the Clubs and the Players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans.

And the Wild issued this statement to the local media:

“After a very exciting summer, we have been overwhelmed by the tremendous support the State of Hockey has shown our organization. We are as anxious as our fans to see our new team take the ice!

We appreciate the continued support of our fans, business partners, community partners and employees as we work through the challenges caused by the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and potential delay in the start of this most promising season. At the same time, we support the League’s position and trust our NHL negotiating team is looking out for the long-term interests of the game. Even as NHL games may be missed, the Wild will continue to support the great sport of hockey at all levels through our grass roots partnerships with amateur hockey associations.

To our Season ticket holders: you will receive further information from us tomorrow morning regarding your account.

Our fans are the best in the NHL, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Xcel Energy Center.”

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Missouri State 2:00 PM
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(15) Nebraska
Minnesota 2:00 PM
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Wisconsin 2:00 PM
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Florida 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
(20) Iowa 3:00 PM
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