NHL lockout -- Theatre of the Absurd

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NHL lockout -- Theatre of the Absurd

Brian Campbells face showed more skepticism than optimism after Wednesdays skate with his former Blackhawks teammates. The defenseman, speaking before the NHL and NHLPA went through a marathon negotiation in New York City that seemed to yield progress, wasnt getting too giddy.

Yeah, I dont know. I dont want to get too far ahead, Campbell said. Ive gotten caught up in that, personally, thinking somethings going to happen. Its just kind of wait-and-see.

Its a wise outlook, considering how this whole collective-bargaining debacle has gone. Its truly been the Theatre of the Absurd: One day things are looking happy, perky, then 24 hours later the two sides are barely talking to each other. Case in point, the NHL and NHLPAs talks Wednesday and Thursday. After having several hours worth of seemingly meaningful negotiations on Wednesday (and into early Thursday), each side kept to itself on Thursday.

As CSNPhillys Tim Panacchio reports from New York, it was more of a day of potential litigation than of negotiation and mediation. It started when the league apparently changed language regarding hockey-related revenue after Wednesdays talks. Reportedly, that all got straightened out. But that apparently left angry feelings. The NHLPA, which didnt go through with its first disclaimer of interest by Wednesdays 11:59 p.m. (ET) deadline, gave players the chance to vote on another one. The union also went to court in the attempt to get the NHLs suit, which was filed the same day the NHLPA told players they would get to vote on that first disclaimer of interest.

Oh, and in the midst of all this legalese, the two sides will meet again tomorrow around 10 a.m. ET, the league told reporters in New York.

Confused yet? Annoyed yet? Dont answer that second one; we already know. Again, welcome to the Theatre of the Absurd, Act oh, weve lost track. For every high moment theres been a low moment; or more like a huh? moment.

So the saga continues. Ive been asked many times if I think there will be hockey this season. Yes, I do. To apply NHL deputy commissioner Bill Dalys infamous quote to my stance, that prediction is the hill I will die on. But its easy to understand why many have thrown their hands up in disgust and are tempted, not only to close their hearts to NHL hockey, but their wallets as well.

Campbells outlook is a smart one. Dont get too up or down, because the emotion will change quicker than the NHL & NHLPAs meeting plans.

Some call these highs, lows, actions and inactions just part of negotiations. Ill stick with absurd.

Blackhawks: Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews have taken their bromance to Twitter

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Blackhawks: Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews have taken their bromance to Twitter

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have always had a brother-type relationship on and off the ice since coming up to the National Hockey League together in 2007-08, and now their bromance has shifted to social media.

Toews, who turned 28 years old last Friday, received birthday wishes all day from fans on Twitter, including Kane, who doesn't tweet often — at least during the season.

While the birthday wish was appreciated, the Blackhawks captain still felt a little empty:

It took a few days but Kane eventually gave in on Wednesday and followed Toews, albeit reluctantly:

Meanwhile, Toews is still getting the hang of Twitter.

Many of the replies he gets are from fans calling him "dad" or "goat," and he can't figure out why:

The Blackhawks even offered to inform him what it means, but the fans were quick to let Toews know (GOAT is short for "greatest of all time"):

Signing off for the day, Toews couldn't help but throw a friendly jab at Kane:

Oh, and Scott Darling joined in on the fun later on, posting a GIF of an actual goat:

It's safe to say the Blackhawks aren't used to these long summers. Chicago isn't either.

Report: Blackhawks sign Gustav Forsling to entry-level contract

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Report: Blackhawks sign Gustav Forsling to entry-level contract

The Blackhawks have reportedly signed defenseman Gustav Forsling to a three-year entry-level contract, according to Johan Svensson of Kvällsposten.

According to the report, Forsling's deal will include a loan clause that allows him to return to Europe for the 2016-17 season if he doesn't crack the Blackhawks' roster out of training camp.

The 19-year-old Swedish defenseman spent the last two seasons with Linkopings HC of the Swedish Hockey League, where he accumulated nine goals and 18 assists in 86 combined games.

He also played a significant role with Sweden in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, registering three goals and five assists in seven games. His eight points led all defensemen in the tournament, and was tied for fourth-most among all skaters.

Forsling was acquired by the Blackhawks in Jan. 2015 from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for defenseman Adam Clendening.

He was a fifth-round pick (No. 126 overall) by the Canucks in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Over 5.5 million Chicago market TV households tuned in for 45 live pro games in April on CSN

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Over 5.5 million Chicago market TV households tuned in for 45 live pro games in April on CSN

 

#1 Highest-Rated “Cable” Network in Primetime in April for Households & ALL Key Adult, Male & Female Demos

Chicago, IL (May 4, 2016) – Fueled by the highest-rated pro game telecast in network history (Blackhawks at St. Louis/Game 7 – 19.07 Chicago market household rating), an amazing start to the 2016 MLB season featuring the top team in the American League (White Sox) and the top team in the National League (Cubs), along with a massive month-long marketing blitz, which included a media signage takeover throughout the Metra Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago, Comcast SportsNet’s #WhatAnApril proved to be one of the network’s busiest and best-performing months to date.  Note the following April 2016 highlights for Comcast SportsNet Chicago:

  • Comcast SportsNet was the #1-highest rated “cable” television network in the Chicago market during primetime (7:00-10:00 PM CT) for every major TV ratings category including Households (HH) & all key Adult, Male, and Female demo categories (see below chart as it pertains to Adults 25-54). 

  • Comcast SportsNet was also #1 “overall” in primetime (which includes all broadcast TV stations) in the demo categories of Men 18-34, Men 18-49, and Men 25-54 (NOTE: Comcast SportsNet was #2 overall in Adults 18-34 and #3 overall in Adults 18-49 & Adults 25-54).
  • Over 5.5 MILLION Chicago market TV households tuned in to 45 live professional game telecasts from April 1 – May 1 (Blackhawks: three regular season/five playoffs; Bulls: three regular season; Cubs: 14 regular season; White Sox: 17 regular season; and Fire: three regular season). 
  • Comcast SportsNet also attracted an additional 3.7 million Chicago market TV homes tuning in for all editions of Pregame Live and Postgame Live, along with the network’s locally-produced, live sports news, talk, and Original Content programming, which includes SportsNet Central and SportsTalk Live.  (Source for all ratings information is provided by Nielsen Media Research)
  • Comcast SportsNet’s live streaming of its Chicago Bulls game telecasts experienced significant year-to-year traffic growth as over 10.9 MILLION total minutes were consumed by fans in the network’s second season of live streaming coverage on CSNChicago.com and via the NBC Sports Live Extra app (an increase of 30% compared to the 2014-15 season).  (Source for all digital traffic information is provided by Adobe Reports & Analytics)