ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. -- The action on Monday morning at the St. Louis Park Recreation Center was fast and furious, as NHL action always is.
Nearly 40 players worked on keeping their skills sharp as the NHL lockout skated into its second day. The problem remained: negotiations between the league and its players remained at a standstill.
Luke Johnson, a partial-Wild season ticket holder, needed his hockey fix as he watched the guys from behind the glass. "You can see they're ready for a good year but obviously they're not playing. I think there's got to be a middle ground in there and they didn't do a good job positioning their offers," he said, before explaining that part of his day-job duties were negotiating.
Star Tribune NHL writer Michael Russo didn't see an end in sight. "I just think this is going to be a long lockout, they're not even in the same galaxy in terms of talking about the share of the pie. Sometimes you get bogged down by the rhetoric, but you know, lately it is so negative," he said.
The lockout, Russo said, would be particularly rough for fans in the state of hockey. "Now suddenly this season's in peril and that's an unbelievable buzz kill for the momentum created for the Wild this season," he explained.
The buzz was created by the summer signings of two key players, Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. Parise, a hometown guy, was one of those working out in St. Louis Park. "It's really frustrating, I think for everybody. I'm sure it's frustrating for the owners as well," the star forward said.
"Unfortunately there is a business side to this game and unfortunately right now it's coming in the way of us playing. So it's not good for the game and it's not good for anybody," Parise added.
And so the fans, the players, and the owners wait, and hope for a deal. "I really think this thing could be a long painful process not unlike the last one," Russo concluded. "I think there's got to be a middle ground in there and they didn't do a good job positioning their offers," fan Luke Johnson added.
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