While the NHL and NHLPA had no plans to talk to each otheron Wednesday, they were taking to Canadian radio stations en masse. And at leastone interview with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly ended on an intriguingnote.Daly did two interviews on Wednesday. Thefirst was with Sportsnet 590 The Fan. But it was the second, when Dalytalked with Hockey Night in Canada, that left ears perked.ElliotteFriedman wrapped up the interview by posing to Daly, yes or no, do we have aseason? Daly, without hesitation, said yes.Now take that for what it is. He could have meant this season.He could have meant well have hockey at some point, but not necessarily thisparticular season. And keep in mind Friedman wasnt going to accept thephrases, I hope so and I want to believe to the question.Still, there it is. Perhaps Daly is indeed talking aboutthis season, that the two sides will realize enough is enough and its time toget back to the table. If so, they might want to hurry because we are trulyreaching the breaking point. Daly said on both interviews that there willlikely be more game cancellations before the end of the week. He added that, inorder to get that 48-game season that the league considers the minimum to play,theyd have to start playing by mid-January.Dalys two interviews followed NHLPA executive directorDonald Fehr, whospoke on The Jeff Blair Show on Sportsnet 590 this morning. Players arecurrently voting on whether to give the NHLPA executive board the power to filea disclaimer of interest and dissolve the union. Fehr said it is not a tactic.If players decide that they dont want to be a union, therewont be a union. Well be living in different world. Owners will have tocomply with anti-trust laws and individual players will have whatever ritesthat they would have. If the players association continues, it would continueas a trade association. It wouldnt be representing the players in connectionwith negotiations.
The Blackhawks' coaching staff will be intact for the 2016-17 season.
Two weeks after Patrick Roy abruptly resigned as head coach, the Colorado Avalanche officially picked Jared Bednar to be his replacement over Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen, who was among the favorites for the coaching vacancy.
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Bednar has no National Hockey League coaching experience, but did guide the Columbus Blue Jackets' American Hockey League affiliate to a 15-2 postseason record last season en route to the franchise's first Calder Cup championship.
Retaining Dineen is good news for the Blackhawks, who start training camp next month, but it goes without saying that Dineen is certainly deserving of a second crack at a head coaching position in the near future.
Dineen, Mike Kitchen and head coach Joel Quenneville will enter their third season together after helping the Blackhawks capture a Stanley Cup in their first year as a group in 2015.
Jonathan Toews was named alternate captain of Team Canada on Thursday for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.
Sidney Crosby was named Team Canada’s captain. Crosby, who claimed his second Stanley Cup in June, was also Team Canada’s captain en route to the gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
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Toews, who has been the Blackhawks’ captain since the 2008-09 season, was also alternate captain of Canada’s 2014 Olympic squad. Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens will serve as Team Canada’s other alternate captain.
Duncan Keith will not be part of the Blackhawks’ World Cup of Hockey contingent after all.
Keith will focus on improving his health rather than play for Team Canada in the tournament, which takes place next month in Toronto. The Blackhawks released a statement regarding Keith on Wednesday afternoon.
"As Duncan continues offseason rehabilitation on the right knee injury that he sustained last season, we understand his decision not to participate in next month’s World Cup of Hockey," team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in the statement. "We believe it is in his best interests to focus on getting stronger and not risk further injury."
Keith had surgery on that knee last October and was sidelined about one month.
St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will take Keith’s place.