NHL talks continue with cautious optimism

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NHL talks continue with cautious optimism

There wasnt much commenting from commissioner Gary Bettman, nor team powers that be after the NHL Board of Governors meeting in New York this afternoon. But since talks are still ongoing inside closed doors, the lack of talking outside of them isnt so bad.

Bettman told reporters he was pleased with the process that is ongoing after meeting with the leagues Board of Governors, and right before owners and players talked for the second consecutive day. Bettman didnt comment past that, out of respect for that process.

The Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews and Jamal Mayers are part of the owner-player talks. Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz and president John McDonough were president for the BOG meeting.

Its the first sign of real optimism in some time. Owners and players met most of Tuesday in New York and did so again prior to the BOG meeting today. Columbus Blue Jackets president John Davidson told reporters, we feel good about the information we got. CSNPhilly.coms Tim Panaccio learned that the BOG talked about a 50-60 game season.

Does that mean a deal is imminent? Well, lets just be very happy things are going in the right direction right now, and that another round of playerowner talks are currently in session this afternoon. The sense of urgency seems to finally be there then again, considering its December, it ought to be.

Kevin Dineen to stay on Blackhawks' staff as Avalanche hire Jared Bednar

Kevin Dineen to stay on Blackhawks' staff as Avalanche hire Jared Bednar

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 named Team Canada alternate captain for World Cup of Hockey

Jonathan Toews named Team Canada alternate captain for World Cup of Hockey

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 won't play for Team Canada in World Cup of Hockey

Duncan Keith won't play for Team Canada in World Cup of Hockey

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.