When Zach Parise signed his 13-year deal with the Minnesota Wild he likely didn’t envision his first year being locked out and waiting on the sidelines. He’d rather be out scoring goals and helping the Wild live up to the lofty expectations that are now bestowed upon them when the organization spent nearly $200 million on two players. Alas, the NHL lockout saunters on and Parise, like so many are trying to remain positive that there will be a NHL season this year.
Michael Russo of the Star Tribune tweeted a quote from Parise and the superstar is confident that the two sides will be able to hammer out a deal prior to Gary Bettman’s imposed deadline of January 11th.
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) January 4, 2013
Sure the NHL and NHLPA are close on many of the issues at hand, but you can’t help but get the feeling that they are still far apart. Especially after yesterday’s little blow up that resulted in the players again voting on the disclaimer of interest lawsuit.
Earlier this week here at Gone Puck Wild we looked at how many of the NHL players are returning from Europe and heading back to their respective cities. This possibly signalling that a deal is near. Recently it’s been leaked that some head coaches and rink staff were told to start preparing for training camp.
On the other side, Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press wrote a piece this morning stating that a source told him, if a deal isn’t done by next Thursday that Bettman will indeed cancel the season. We’ve heard that before but Lawless also went on to describe how many of the owners feel that Donald Fehr doesn’t want a new deal and that he’s stalling the talks to force Bettman’s hand.
What to believe at this point is anyone’s guess. When we hear players like Parise strongly encouraged that a deal will get done based on how far the two sides have come, it’s hard to believe that they would blow it up as the star suggested.
Then again, stranger things have happened with this lockout so anything is possible. Which also means that a deal could made and how strange would that be?