As the evening grew later, the talks continued. And while its hard to say how much is getting accomplished, the fact that discussions are ongoing is at least some reason to be optimistic.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and forward Jamal Mayers were two of 18 players taking part in Tuesdays player-owner meeting in New York. The two sides started talking at 1 p.m. central time; after a dinner break early in the evening, the two parties reconvened and were still talking past 10 p.m. central time.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr stayed out of both meetings, although they reportedly met with their respective parties during the dinner break.
Reports from New York have used the words cautiously optimistic to describe the ongoing discussions. Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes that the Penguins are making a big push to help end the lockout. Sidney Crosby is part of todays talks, as is team co-owner Ron Burkle.
The lockout reached Day 80 on Tuesday. Games through Dec. 14 have already been canceled.
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.