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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Americans blow out Canada, advance to world junior final; Compliance buyouts have little affect the Wild

Posted by: Michael Russo under Gophers, Wild off-season news Updated: January 3, 2013 - 1:22 PM

In the wee hours of this morning, the United States, coached by Minnesotans Phil Housley, Grant Potulny and Mark Osiecki, crushed Canada, 5-1, in the semifinals of the world junior championships in Ufa, Russia.

Here's the story, with video highlights.

The Americans will face defending champion Sweden, who upended Russia in a shootout, in Saturday's gold-medal game at 7 a.m. CT.

Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau continued his offensive assault with two more goals (seven in the past three), Wisconsin's Jake McCabe, the U.S. captain, had two goals and an assist and John Gibson made 36 saves.

Gophers defenseman Mike Reilly tweeted at @mreilly93: "What a game to be a part of. Moving on to the finals. #goforgold"

Saturday morning's game will be on NHL Network and streamed on NHL.com. I will be on KFAN at 10:35 a.m. to talk about the game and NHL/NHLPA bargaining updates.

As you can see on the previous blog, the two sides met late into the night last night and expect to meet again today with a federal mediator. Gary Bettman said the sides agreed to meet at 10 a.m. ET. The two sides haven't begun meeting yet as the NHLPA is reportedly meeting internally and updating its membership of yesterday's events.

I get asked a lot if there's any chance after a handshake agreement that the NHL starts playing while the collective bargaining agreement is drafted, lawyered up and ratified. Doubtful.

In 1994-95, there were tons of wildfires that had to be put out the ensuing months when they tried that, stuff like, "You agreed to this, ... Uh, no we didn't." This morning is a case of the NHL thought they agreed to meet at 10 a.m. moments after this alleged agreement, and the NHLPA didn't understand it that way.

So the two sides can't agree on that, think they'll play with a handshake?

Details are starting to emerge:

-- I have confirmed ESPN Pierre LeBrun's report that the league has agreed to the two compliance buyouts the players want for 2013-14 (wouldn't count against the salary cap). But the owners feel that since they're willing to hand players a lump sum of money to walk away, that should come out of the player share of the 50/50 split of revenues, not the owners. Players don't want it that way; they want it to come from outside the system. This transition rule is a big bridge that must be gapped.

There seems to be a lot of confusion among fans. The purpose of the compliance buyouts are so teams can get compliant with the 2013-14 salary cap that will decline (the league wants it to be $60 million, the union $65 million) as the split in revenues go from 57-43 in favor of the players to 50-50.

Because this affects 2013-14, this really has little affect on the Wild.

The salary cap this year (if they get a deal done to salvage the season) will still be prorated at $70.2 million, so the Wild, with the second-highest payroll in the NHL, are compliant. Even if the cap falls to $60 million in 2013-14, the Wild would be at $50.5 million assuming Niklas Backstrom, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Matt Cullen aren't re-signed. This doesn't include the promotions of Houston prospects other than Mikael Granlund, free-agent signings and the re-signings of potential restricted free agents like Cal Clutterbuck.

But the Wild conceivably wouldn't have to buy out anybody.

By the way, check out the previous blog for Wild injury news and also how an abbreviated training camp may determine which kids from Houston get a look right away. It's interesting because the kids in Houston succeeding are in midseason form, so that could be quite the advantage for the Wild. However, there's very few open spots due to one-way contracts, so there's just no chance more than a handful could start with the Wild.

-- Also, reportedly (I have not confirmed yet), the NHL is willing to move the variance of salaries inside contracts year to year to 20 percent.

-- Pensions, the fact the NHL wants six-year max deals (seven to re-sign your own players) and a $60 million ceiling in 2013-14 continue to be the big "open issues."

I'll be back later with a report on the Gophers after availability, but as I mentioned, Erik Haula is expected to miss at least the next three games with a finger injury. Don Lucia indicated yesterday that Nate Condon may move to second-line center from first-line right wing to replace him.


Minnesota 16 FINAL
Buffalo 17
Atlanta 7 FINAL
Baltimore 29
Tennessee 17 FINAL
Washington 19
Seattle 26 FINAL
St. Louis 28
Cleveland 6 FINAL
Jacksonville 24
Cincinnati 0 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Miami 27 FINAL
Chicago 14
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Detroit 24
Carolina 17 FINAL
Green Bay 38
Kansas City 23 FINAL
San Diego 20
Arizona 24 FINAL
Oakland 13
NY Giants 21 FINAL
Dallas 31
San Francisco 17 FINAL
Denver 42
Houston 7:30 PM
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Boston 95 FINAL
Brooklyn 90
Minnesota 112 FINAL
Oklahoma City 94
Golden State 83 FINAL
Houston 90
Charlotte 96 FINAL
Chicago 101
Utah 91 FINAL
LA Lakers 98
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
San Jose 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Calgary 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
St. Louis 0 FINAL
Anaheim 3
TX-San Antonio 20 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 27
Syracuse 30 FINAL
Wake Forest 7
Purdue 38 FINAL
Minnesota 39
Western Ky 38 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 45
(12) Baylor 27 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 41
(11) Kansas State 31 FINAL
(17) Oklahoma 30
Iowa 31 FINAL
Maryland 38
So Florida 38 FINAL
Tulsa 30
Tulane 13 FINAL
UCF 20
Virginia 13 FINAL
Duke 20
Akron 20 FINAL
Ohio U 23
Western Mich 26 FINAL
Bowling Green 14
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
Massachusetts 36
Appalachian St 53 FINAL
Troy 14
(25) UCLA 36 FINAL
California 34
Texas A&M 0 FINAL
(4) Alabama 59
Army 17 FINAL
Kent State 39
Kansas 21 FINAL
Texas Tech 34
Middle Tennessee 34
Rutgers 17 FINAL
(13) Ohio State 56
(8) Michigan State 56 FINAL
Indiana 17
New Mexico 31 FINAL
Air Force 35
NC State 18 FINAL
Louisville 30
(21) Clemson 17 FINAL
Boston College 13
Ball State 32 FINAL
Central Mich 29
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
(9) Georgia 45 FINAL
Arkansas 32
Oklahoma State 9 FINAL
(10) TCU 42
San Jose St 27 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Miami-Ohio 41 FINAL
Northern Ill 51
New Mexico St 17 FINAL
Idaho 29
Colorado 28 FINAL
(20) USC 56
(23) Marshall 45 FINAL
FIU 13
Southern Miss 30 FINAL
North Texas 20
Georgia Tech 43 FINAL
North Carolina 48
Tennessee 3 FINAL
(3) Ole Miss 34
Utah State 13 FINAL
Colorado State 16
Missouri 42 FINAL
Florida 13
Kentucky 3 FINAL
(24) LSU 41
(16) Nebraska 38 FINAL
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 27 FINAL
South Alabama 30
Washington 20 FINAL
(6) Oregon 45
Iowa State 45 FINAL
Texas 48
(7) Notre Dame 27 FINAL
(2) Florida State 31
Nevada 42 FINAL
BYU 35
Stanford 10 FINAL
(14) Arizona State 26
Hawaii 10 FINAL
San Diego St 20
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Columbus 3 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
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