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NHL Lockout Hard To Avoid, Wild Player Says

Minnesota Wild center Matt Cullen expressed some cautious optimism Tuesday that the NHL and the NHLPA will come to an agreement without a lockout that lasts another whole season. Though the lockout would officially begin midnight Saturday, Cullen said that with camps and the season beginning - the "real" deadlines - might bring more serious proposals to the table:

"As soon as there’s a deadline in there anywhere, that's when people start coming to the table to talk. I think that this deal will get done. I don’t feel there’s a reason for things to be so far apart. I think we’re really close to being in the same ballpark. I feel like it’ll happen fast."

Cullen's comments come as over 280 players travel to New York City for two days of NHLPA meetings with union head Donald Fehr. Four players from the Wild are attending the meetings.

For more on the Minnesota Wild, check out Hockey Wilderness. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.