Donald Fehr told reporters that the union and the NHL moved closer on a few things during lengthy talks on Wednesday. But the NHLPA executive director added that there is still a ways to go.
The NHLPA and NHL met for several hours on Wednesday, bleeding into the early hours of Thursday -- and past the 11:59 p.m. Eastern deadline the union had to file its disclaimer of interest. Fehr would neither confirm nor deny if the union filed. But NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, speaking to reporters a few minutes later, said the league hasnt been notified about a disclaimer of interest.
Bettman added that the two sides will meet again at 10 a.m. today.
Federal mediator Scot Beckenbough joined Wednesdays talks at the request of both sides, and will be present again in Thursday mornings talks.
Bettman told reporters that the NHL and NHLPA had philosophical discussions about various issues during their four-hour talk on WednesdayThursday.
The two sides have traded proposals over the past few days. The NHL presented a 288-page proposal to the players association last Thursday. That led to the two sides meeting face-to-face on New Years Eve and beginning this latest round of negotiations -- or perhaps its more like the first real round of negotiations, considering the lack of progress over the past few months.
If there is a season, it would be a minimum of 48 games and Bettman said the puck would have to drop on Jan. 19.
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.
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.
#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)