Players hit the ice to skate and wait

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 18, 2012 - 11:14 AM

Locked-out Wild members began their new routine.

It didn't take long for Zach Parise to realize he was a locked-out player Monday. The out-of-work Wild forward had to rush home because he forgot his skates.

Because he is not permitted to take advantage of team services like those of Wild equipment manager Tony DaCosta or team facilities like Xcel Energy Center during the NHL lockout, Parise took his skates home to sharpen over the weekend.

Monday morning, Parise arrived back at a St. Louis Park ice rink to skate with 40 of his fellow locked-out colleagues.

"I saw [locked-out Wild winger] Devin Setoguchi in the parking lot and he goes, 'Hey, what kind of skates do you wear?' " Parise said. "I was like, 'Son of a gun.' "

If there is a good thing about being locked out in Minnesota, it's the fact that several NHLers are based here.

So Monday, and for the foreseeable future, nearly 20 Wild players, including Mikko Koivu, Niklas Backstrom, Tom Gilbert, Jared Spurgeon and newcomer Torrey Mitchell, strapped on the skates with NHLers such as Dustin Byfuglien, Paul Martin, Keith Ballard, Alex Goligoski and Kyle Okposo.

What's it like being a locked-out NHLer?

"Bizarre. It's pretty brutal," Wild center Kyle Brodziak said. "Usually around this time you're starting to crank it up for the season and you get that feeling of playing competitive hockey again.

"Right now, you just keep training and skating every day. You keep doing that until you get bored of it, I guess, and then find somewhere new to go do the same thing."

Ticket details, and paycuts

Over at Wild headquarters, the team officially postponed single-game ticket sales, which were supposed to start Saturday -- the same day players were supposed to open training camp.

Season-ticket holders were informed Monday about what options they have for their tickets.

They can either receive refunds after games are canceled or keep their money in their accounts in return for 10 percent APR interest for each day that games remain canceled or postponed.

That's a higher incentive than every team in the NHL. Most have offered options ranging from no interest to 5 percent.

It also was announced to a 200-person staff that there will be no layoffs "at this time" and that executives and higher-compensated employees on the business side and coaches and management on the hockey operations side will receive paycuts.

The salary reductions affect any Wild employee making more than $70,000 a year, and would be a 30 or 35 percent (depending on salary) reduction of the overage over $70,000, according to multiple sources.

"The vast majority of Wild employees are completely unaffected," Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka said. "We wanted to have the impact be least for those who could least afford it."

Majka said layoffs could be revisited "if something catastrophic happened, like a loss of a season. ... I'm going to take the hopeful position that we will have a settlement relatively soon, and I'm still hopeful we can play a full season."

So are the players in St. Louis Park.

On Monday, skating instructor Troy Stevens ran drills and agents Ben Hankinson and Chris McAlpine ran the scrimmage. Starting Tuesday, referees will be hired for the scrimmages.

Setoguchi, whose training was hindered last summer when he was hit by a car in July, has arrived in Minnesota in tip-top shape. The goal scorer is looking forward to rebounding from a 19-goal season.

"You just have to make sure you don't slip, just make sure you keep putting in the work," Setoguchi said.

The problem, Backstrom said, is players "don't know how long this will last. It could be a month, two months, a year, two years, who knows?"

Added Gilbert, "That's the mental challenge of it. How do you approach your preparing for the season? You've got to take a couple steps back from working out, your skating's got to be a little different. We're all ready for training camp. But now, what do you do?"

The overseas option

Some NHLers have begun signing overseas. Rick Nash, Joe Thornton and Logan Couture reportedly are going to Switzerland, Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk to Russia, Tomas Plekanec and Jaromir Jagr to the Czech Republic, Christian Ehrhoff to Germany and Jussi Jokinen to Finland.

Backstrom, who wore his Wild jersey inside-out, has options in Europe and could make that decision in a matter of days. He owns a piece of IFK in Helsinki and played for Karpat Oulu, although he has options in other countries, too.

Koivu could play for the team he partly owns, TPS in Turku, Finland, but he'll investigate that more in the next couple of days because there are astronomical tax and insurance implications for NHLers returning home.

"I'll probably just stay [in Minnesota] for a bit," Koivu said. "We have a good group here."

In the meantime, Koivu played on a line Monday with Parise, who is supposed to be his Wild linemate whenever the lockout ends.

"I think we won the game, too, so it's a good start," Koivu joked.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 64 3rd Qtr 3:09
Chicago 55
Oklahoma City 2:30 PM
Cleveland
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Phoenix
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Denver
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 4:00 PM
Team Foligno
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 45 2nd Half 9:53
Georgia Tech 35
Virginia 36 2nd Half 10:24
Virginia Tech 43
Indiana 32 2nd Half
Ohio State 38
Stony Brook 16 1st Half 8:11
Binghamton 15
Cincinnati 12 1st Half 9:52
UCF 18
Maine 19 1st Half 6:20
Hartford 16
Monmouth 26 1st Half 4:13
Manhattan 29
Fairfield 21 1st Half 5:47
Marist 21
Rowan 18 1st Half 2:31
Princeton 41
St Bonaventure 10 1st Half 7:37
Rhode Island 13
Duke 23 1st Half 11:05
St Johns 17
Saint Peters 26 1st Half 3:46
Siena 21
Drake 10 1st Half 7:48
Wichita State 20
Vermont 21 1st Half 5:57
UMass Lowell 15
Seton Hall 2:00 PM
Butler
NJIT 2:05 PM
South Alabama
Northern Iowa 3:00 PM
Illinois State
Louisville 3:00 PM
Pittsburgh
UMBC 3:30 PM
Albany
Niagara 3:30 PM
Iona
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Villanova
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Maryland
Washington 7:30 PM
Utah
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 51 2nd Half 5:51
UMBC 38
Vanderbilt 45 2nd Half 7:18
Alabama 43
Lafayette 35 2nd Half 11:21
Lehigh 41
UCF 16 1st Half 9:08
SMU 12
Utah 17 1st Half 5:20
Washington 24
James Madison 28 1st Half 5:49
Coll of Charleston 18
Delaware 18 1st Half 3:40
Drexel 26
Hofstra 18 1st Half 7:26
William & Mary 22
Hartford 16 1st Half 8:13
Albany 24
Binghamton 16 1st Half 6:54
Stony Brook 22
Towson 27 1st Half 7:14
UNC-Wilmington 16
Wake Forest 26 1st Half 8:33
(17) Florida State 34
Georgia Tech 20 1st Half 4:40
Virginia 24
(22) Georgia 22 1st Half 5:55
(5) Tennessee 14
Drake 23 1st Half 6:03
Evansville 21
Iona 30 1st Half 5:45
Canisius 22
Fairfield 10 1st Half 7:21
Monmouth 17
Northwestern 21 1st Half 7:31
Penn State 26
Wisconsin 26 1st Half 3:59
Michigan State 27
Ohio State 20 1st Half 5:20
Purdue 20
Northern Iowa 19 1st Half 7:56
Indiana State 14
Butler 2 1st Half 18:13
Xavier 2
Creighton 2:00 PM
Marquette
Providence 2:00 PM
DePaul
Northeastern 2:00 PM
Elon
(2) Connecticut 2:00 PM
Cincinnati
Oregon 2:00 PM
Arizona
Bradley 2:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
NC State 2:00 PM
(23) Syracuse
(7) Maryland 2:00 PM
Indiana
Illinois State 2:05 PM
Missouri State
Colorado 3:00 PM
Washington St
Tulane 3:00 PM
South Florida
(14) Kentucky 3:00 PM
Missouri
(9) Oregon State 3:00 PM
(13) Arizona State
Vermont 3:30 PM
UMass Lowell
Iowa State 3:30 PM
(8) Texas
Southern Ill 3:45 PM
Wichita State
(15) Duke 4:00 PM
(12) North Carolina
Miami-Florida 4:00 PM
(4) Louisville
(21) Minnesota 4:15 PM
(25) Rutgers
California 5:00 PM
UCLA
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
USC
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Does a Stadium Series outdoor Wild game get you excited?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close