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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After 113 days, deal reached to end NHL lockout

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: January 6, 2013 - 5:37 AM

Just after 5 a.m. in the East, on the 113th day of the NHL lockout, it is over: the National Hockey League is returning.

After 16 hours of marathon meetings Saturday and the wee hours of Sunday morning, a deal in principle has been reached.

"We have reached an agreement on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement," Commissioner Gary Bettman said at a joint news conference with NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr at 5:45 a.m. ET. "The details have to be put to paper. ... It's good to be at this point."

Added Fehr: "We'll get back to what we used to call business as usual as fast as we can."

Fehr said hopefully in a few days, fans can get back to watching people who can skate, not the two of them.

"Absolutely," said Bettman.

Here is a statement from the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service, who employs mediator (MVP) Scot Beckenbaugh, who got these folks back to the table and did hours of legwork and shuttling between sites to bridge the gap.

Both sides thanked Beckenbaugh over and over.

No details were officially given yet, but the next step is both sides have to ratify the, what I'm told is, 10-year collective bargaining agreement with a mutual opt-out after eight years. The upper limit for 2013-14 is $64.3 million. The floor remains at $44 million. Max contracts are seven years (eight to re-sign your own players). Two compliance buyouts for next season if a team wishes (doesn't count vs. cap; player share). $200 million revenue sharing. All 14 non-playoff teams will have a shot at the No. 1 pick. I believe there will be a free-agent courting period ala basketball (I've campaigned for this for years).

Olympics and realignment will be agreed upon at a later date between the two sides.

Cap for this year will be prorated $70.2 million, so the Wild is fine. All terms of contracts for existing players remain the same.

The original goal was to start training camp Jan. 12 and a 48-game, all-conference season Jan. 19 (Hockey Day Minnesota) if a collective bargaining agreement was reached by Jan. 11. But both sides were motivated to get a deal complete by the end of the weekend.

If ratification goes by quickly, training camp could start sooner with perhaps a 50-game season starting by Jan. 15, a source said. That means training camp could start this week.

In my opinion, that would make the division of the schedule more palatable for fans. While the league hasn’t said how it would divide the games, in a 50-game season, it would make sense that five games could be played vs. each division opponent (20 games) and three vs. each conference opponent (30 games).

In a 48-game season, there’s a chance that 28 of the 48 games would be played vs. four division opponents (seven each) and 20 games vs. the 10 other conference opponents (home and home).

The schedule could come later today.

Just in case training camp was on the horizon, the Wild pulled center Mikael Granlund from the Houston Aeros’ lineup against San Antonio after warmups Saturday night. General Manager Chuck Fletcher said the Wild didn’t want to risk injury to Granlund, who would be slotted as the Wild’s No. 2 center in training camp.

Fletcher said he nearly pulled Granlund from Friday’s lineup against Texas but opted not to.

The league had reason to hammer out a deal. For the second time during the lockout, the majority of players voted to give NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr the authorization to file a disclaimer of interest and dissolve the union if he so chooses. If the union were to dissolve, Fehr would have no longer represented the players and they could have filed antitrust lawsuits against the NHL seeking to have the lockout deemed illegal.

The two sides met late into the night Wednesday, but talks broke down Thursday when the players felt the league tried to slip language by them regarding penalties if teams under reported hockey-related revenue.

But tempers cooled and on Friday, federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh spent 12 hours shuttling back and forth the 3 ½ blocks between NHL headquarters and the NHLPA hotel meeting separately with both parties.

That continued Saturday morning until Beckenbaugh brought both sides together for the marathon session.

The Wild will release the schedule as soon as it gets one and begin redistributing tickets. Single-game tickets will go on sale this week. Marketing campaign will be launched today as well as "Welcome Back" promotions.

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Tampa Bay - WP: J. McGee 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: B. Morrow 5
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 6
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: E. Volquez 7
Miami - WP: A. DeSclafani 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Papelbon 4
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Garza 9
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 8 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 4
Minnesota - WP: T. May 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 4
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 4
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 10
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 6 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 1
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 4 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: Y. Petit 2
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 6 FINAL
Arizona - WP: Z. Spruill 8
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 4 FINAL
Seattle - LP: C. Young 0
NY Yankees - LP: D. Robertson 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: D. O`Day 3
Miami 10 FINAL
Buffalo 29
Jacksonville 10 FINAL
Washington 41
Dallas 26 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Arizona 25 FINAL
NY Giants 14
New England 30 FINAL
Minnesota 7
New Orleans 24 FINAL
Cleveland 26
Atlanta 10 FINAL
Cincinnati 24
Detroit 7 FINAL
Carolina 24
St. Louis 19 FINAL
Tampa Bay 17
Seattle 21 FINAL
San Diego 30
NY Jets 24 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Kansas City 17 FINAL
Denver 24
Houston 30 FINAL
Oakland 14
Chicago 28 FINAL
San Francisco 20
Philadelphia 9/15/14 7:30 PM
Indianapolis
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
Boise State 38 FINAL
Connecticut 21
Indiana 42 FINAL
Bowling Green 45
Ga Southern 38 FINAL
Georgia Tech 42
Syracuse 40 FINAL
Central Mich 3
UCF 10 FINAL
(18) Missouri 38
Massachusetts 31 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
Ohio U 14 FINAL
Marshall 44
West Virginia 40 FINAL
Maryland 37
Kent State 0 FINAL
(23) Ohio State 66
Pittsburgh 42 FINAL
FIU 25
East Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia Tech 21
Louisville 21 FINAL
Virginia 23
Wyoming 14 FINAL
(2) Oregon 48
Air Force 48 FINAL
Georgia State 38
(13) Georgia 35 FINAL
(14) So Carolina 38
Arkansas 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 28
Iowa State 20 FINAL
Iowa 17
Miami-Ohio 10 FINAL
Michigan 34
Kansas 3 FINAL
Duke 41
NC State 49 FINAL
So Florida 17
Arkansas State 20 FINAL
Miami-Florida 41
Miss State 35 FINAL
South Alabama 3
Louisiana 15 FINAL
(10) Ole Miss 56
Minnesota 7 FINAL
TCU 30
Illinois 19 FINAL
Washington 44
Army 0 FINAL
(16) Stanford 35
Western Mich 45 FINAL
Idaho 33
Eastern Mich 3 FINAL
Old Dominion 17
Southern Miss 12 FINAL
(3) Alabama 52
Northern Ill 48 FINAL
UNLV 34
Tulsa 21 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 50
ULM 0 FINAL
(8) LSU 31
Wake Forest 24 FINAL
Utah State 36
Western Ky 47 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 50
TX-San Antonio 13 FINAL
(25) Oklahoma State 43
Purdue 14 FINAL
(9) Notre Dame 30
Kentucky 30 FINAL
Florida 36
New Mexico St 24 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 42
Tennessee 10 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 34
(17) USC 31 FINAL
Boston College 37
Navy 35 FINAL
Texas State 21
(12) UCLA 20 FINAL
Texas 17
Penn State 13 FINAL
Rutgers 10
Rice 10 FINAL
(6) Texas A&M 38
(15) Arizona State 38 FINAL
Colorado 24
(24) Nebraska 55 FINAL
Fresno State 19
Nevada 28 FINAL
Arizona 35
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Montreal 16 FINAL
Edmonton 33
Toronto 33 FINAL
Calgary 40
Winnipeg 9 FINAL
Brt Columbia 26
Saskatchewan 3 FINAL
Hamilton 28
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