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Waiting Wild: Locked-out Minnesota players trying to stay sharp with much-hyped season on hold

The Minnesota Wild transformed their team as much as anyone in the NHL this summer, splurging on prized free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to surprise the league, revive their frustrated fan base and put themselves in position to become the Stanley Cup contender they've never truly been.

They have sold the equivalent of about 4,000 new season tickets since the day the 13-year, $98 million contracts for Parise and Suter were revealed, signaling the most-anticipated season in the franchise's 12-year history. Thanks to the NHL lockout, the buzz has been put on mute.

After another unproductive bargaining session in New York between representatives for the owners and the players, the postponement of the Oct. 13 season opener and more appeared imminent.

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