By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The NHL season is supposed to open with training camps on Saturday.

No one believes they are close to a deal that would do that.

So some Minnesota Wild players gather at a local ice arena like they do every off season, but this group of mostly NHL players is preparing for a season that is out of their control.

“You’re extremely hopeful that the season starts on time, but you have to be prepared,” Cal Clutterbuck said.

Matt Cullen endured the lost season — the last full-year lockout was in 2004-05 – and if nothing else, he feels better about the negotiations.

“This is, unfortunately, round two of this for me,” Cullen said. “And it has a lot different feeling than last time. It was more combative last time.”

To boot, Minnesota fans can’t wait to see Zach Parise as a Wild player.

Parise is here after a summer that included a $98 million contract with the Wild and his wedding. Now his body tells him it’s time to go back to work.

“We are doing the same thing we do every summer and every year, nothing’s changed on our part,” Parise said.

Meetings over the next couple days will tell more of the story, but for now, they hurry up and wait.


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