Another day of frustration in NHL lockout

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Another day of frustration in NHL lockout

Updated: 9:50 p.m.

There was a lot of talking regarding the NHL lockout in New York today. Unfortunately, the league and NHLPA were talking with a mediator and not each other.

Federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh went back and forth between the NHL (at its offices) and the NHLPA (at a nearby hotel) for more than 13 hours on Friday. It was another day of frustration in a lockout full of them, and the second consecutive day that the league and NHLPA havent gotten together for true negotiations.

Perhaps each side was able to get things accomplished with the mediator that they havent seemed to solve in the room together. More than a half a days worth of talking has to result in something, right? Whatever the case may be, it will continue; the league announced to New York reporters at 10:45 p.m. ET that mediation will continue Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The two sides seemed to be building goodwill and closing in on a deal when they talked for several hours Wednesday nightearly Thursday morning. But within a day, all that positivity went poof. The New York Posts Larry Brooks wrote that players were angry when commissioner Gary Bettman said some general managers, regretting those massive contracts they once OKed, would like the chance dismantle teams to get down to the proposed 60 million cap in 2013-14.

RELATED: NHL lockout -- Theatre of the Absurd

So now the NHLPA is once again voting to once again give its executive board the power to file a disclaimer of interest. The players association had the chance to exercise that option at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, but kept talking with the league instead. Now theyre considering it again; voting is expected to end early Saturday evening.

Today is Day 110 of the lockout. If there is going to be a season beginning Jan. 19, there will have to be an agreement made within the next week.

Blackhawks re-sign defenseman Ville Pokka to one-year deal

Blackhawks re-sign defenseman Ville Pokka to one-year deal

The Blackhawks signed Ville Pokka to a one-year contract on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old Pokka played in all 76 regular-season games for the Rockford IceHogs last season, recording six goals and 24 assists.

The Blackhawks’ defensive depth has already taken a hit this offseason, with Niklas Hjalmarsson traded to Arizona – Connor Murphy came here in the deal – and Trevor van Riemsdyk, selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, then traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. While the Blackhawks will probably explore free-agent options this offseason, Pokka could vie for an opportunity at training camp.

Blackhawks don’t extend qualifying offer to Dennis Rasmussen

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks don’t extend qualifying offer to Dennis Rasmussen

Dennis Rasmussen was not tendered a qualifying offer by the Blackhawks, a source confirmed on Tuesday. Rasmussen will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Rasmussen was coming off a one-year deal worth $575,000. He was expected to be among those the Blackhawks extended qualifying offers – the deadline was Monday afternoon – but he was not.

The 26-year-old played 68 games for the Blackhawks this past season, recording four goals and four assists. He gave the Blackhawks some options, as he also played some wing and was part of the penalty kill. But he was a surprise healthy scratch more often than not as the regular season continued.

The Blackhawks will enter this season without Rasmussen and, if Marcus Kruger is traded, the team will have some holes to fill at center.