League makes new offer to NHLPA

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League makes new offer to NHLPA

With the clock ticking to save any remnants of an NHL season, the league has made a new offer to the NHLPA.

The NHL made a new collective bargaining proposal to the players association on Thursday afternoon. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly released a statement earlier today, Day 104 of the lockout, regarding the proposal.

In light of media reports this morning, I can confirm that we delivered to the Union a new, comprehensive proposal for a successor CBA late yesterday afternoon. We are not prepared to discuss the details of our proposal at this time. We are hopeful that once the Union's staff and negotiating committee have had an opportunity to thoroughly review and consider our new proposal, they will share it with the players. We want to be back on the ice as soon as possible.

According to a TSN.ca report, the league has moved on a few things, including increasing the maximum contract length from five to six years (it remains at seven if a team is re-signing its own player). The report also said that the make whole provision of 300 million, the one that commissioner Gary Bettman said was supposedly off the table earlier this month, is still there. TSNs Pierre LeBrun also reported further details on the proposal.

Anything right now well take, as far as moving (the process) along here, said Troy Brouwer prior to the conference call. Guys want to get back to playing hockey. We know the timeline here is getting squished pretty substantially. If somethings going to happen, its going to happen in the next week or 10 days. Right now, players dont know what it all entails. But in the next few days Im sure therell be some talks going on, if nothing else, about this proposal.

The players, who talked among themselves via an NHLPA conference call this afternoon, have a lot of information to review; the proposal is nearly 300 pages long.

Seeing that it was a 288-page document, it will take a day or so for the NHLPA staff to review and get clarification where necessary, Blackhawks forward Jamal Mayers said. Im hopeful this will finally lead to real negotiations to get back on the ice.

The league has been adamant that, if there is a season, a minimum of 48 games must be played. The two sides have not talked since the middle of December, when they met with federal mediators in New Jersey. Games are currently canceled through Jan. 14.

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Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

The Blackhawks' starts have been all over the map this season but their finishes have usually been strong. That was the case again on Sunday night as the Blackhawks took a lead, lost a lead and regained a lead for good in their 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

This one featured a little bit of everything. So let's just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks' victory over Vancouver.

1. Jonathan Toews breaks through. If the Blackhawks captain's confidence was a little shaken with his lack of scoring this season, it should've gotten a boost with his Sunday outing. Toews' goal and three assists were as big for him as they were the Blackhawks, who needed every bit of it late against the Canucks. In his last 12 games Toews has three goals and eight assists. He's getting there. Said coach Joel Quenneville, "it seems like he was around the puck way more and when he does that, usually good things happen."

2. Great start. This hasn't been written very often but it was more than evident on Sunday night. If this wasn't the Blackhawks' best opening period of the season it was pretty close, as they broke out to a 2-0 lead against the Canucks. The Blackhawks, outside of a 3 ½-minute sequence without a shot on goal, were tenacious and ready to shoot, taking an 18-9 shots-on-goal edge in that first.

3. Corey Crawford rebounds. Quenneville considered Scott Darling for this game, an understandable thought with Darling coming off a 30-stop shutout. But he wanted Crawford to get back to where he was prior to his appendectomy, and Crawford took a step in that direction on Sunday night. In stopping 26 of 28 shots Crawford got his 18th victory of the season and 200th of his career. Quenneville said Crawford "looked like he was in control."

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4. Michal Kempny’s tough stretch. When Kempny has been good this season he's been very good. When he's been bad... The defenseman was in the penalty box when the Canucks scored their first goal and he was beaten by Bo Horvat on the Canucks' second goal. Kempny didn't play the final 14 minutes of the game. Quenneville, who liked what Kempny brought on the team's road trip, said Kempny just has to work through some things. "Coverage with awareness and knowing sometimes it's man coverage, sometimes it's playing the puck and clearing the loose stuff," Quenneville said. "Defenseman is a tough position as you're growing and learning it, but the more you play the better you play and I still think he's making progress."

5. Brian Campbell gets to keep No. 500 this time. Campbell thought he had his 500th point against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night but it was taken away. Well he got it back on Sunday night, setting up Richard Panik's 11th goal of the season in the first period.