Koivu takes part in Wild practice, but no word on return to lineup

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There was good news for the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday, as players not competing in Sochi returned to practice.

As per the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, veteran forward Mikko Koivu was cleared to take part in the first skate back during this Olympic break in the schedule, after sitting out more than a month with a broken ankle that required surgery.

Koivu, 30, hasn’t played since Jan. 4 as a result of his injury, and was forced to miss the 2014 Olympics. He was playing some impressive hockey before the injury, with eight points in his last five games. Despite skating on Wednesday, there’s no word yet on when, exactly, he will return to the Wild lineup.

The Wild come out of the Olympic break on the road with a game against the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 27.

“Two weeks ago I thought I’d be playing in the Olympics,” said Koivu, as per Pioneer Press, “so I don’t want to put any timetable on it. The best thing to do is just take it day by day.

“It’s the worst watching your team play and not being a part of it.”

Avs unveil new third jerseys

Avs Jerseys

The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr
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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith