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NHL Lockout Looming, But Wild Players Already In Town

The NHL still does not have a new CBA in place, but that hasn't stopped several Minnesota Wild players from arriving in town in advance of the scheduled opening of training camp. The early arrivals include Zach Parise, Matt Cullen, Cal Clutterbuck, Josh Harding, Stephane Veilleux, Jake Dowell, Jonas Brodin, Johan Larsson and Jason Zucker. The group has been skating at the St. Louis Park Rec Center for the last several days.

The NHL and NHLPA are going to spend Wednesday and Thursday meeting in New York, and many players will also be gathering there for an NHLPA meeting in which they plan for a potential lockout.

Mat Cullen had the following to say via the Pioneer Press:

I just don’t really feel like the optimism has died. We’re still over a week out from camp starting. I think once you get close to camp, then the real stuff starts, the real negotiations start. Everybody right now is posturing. As we get closer to some real deadlines, hopefully things will start to get done. 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.

The NHLPA has began its legal fight with the league, having challenged the NHL's potential lockout in several Canadian provinces where they are not a recognized union.

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.

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