Updated: 6:45 p.m.
When NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr emerged from their latest round of negotiations on Thursday, they werent very talkative to the media attending in New York City.
Nevertheless, theyre still putting in plenty of time talking to each other.
The NHL and NHLPA met again on Thursday, the third consecutive day theyve negotiated from a secret location in New York City. Neither Fehr nor Bettman told reporters much about the meeting. Fehr confirmed the two sides will meet again on Friday and Bettman said theres still a lot of work to do.
Talks each day have been anywhere from five to seven-plus hours, including Thursdays five-hour session. Both sides have said they would keep details of these latest negotiations very quiet, and for the most part, thats happened.
Still, details have leaked. The Canadian Press Chris Johnston reported earlier today that the NHLPA made offers Wednesday on revenue sharing and players sharemake whole provision. Fehr told reporters the league did respond to NHLPA proposals but did not comment further.
The league and PA have gotten down to business after weeks of few true negotiations. The contention between the two sides was bad by the middle of October, when the league offered a 50-50 proposal and the NHLPA countered with three proposals of their own. But the league rejected those proposals quickly, saying at the time that the two sides were speaking different languages.
But last Saturday things started to turn for the better, at least in terms of getting the focus back on negotiations. League deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr talked at an undisclosed location until past midnight, which has led to this weeks talks.
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.