NHL, NHLPA chat for seven hours again

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NHL, NHLPA chat for seven hours again

The seven-hour chat between the NHL and NHLPA in New York City on Tuesday has led to a few things. Its led to talks today, which also went several hours. Its led to, we can assume, some headway. And its led to players being optimistic that there could be an end in sight to the lockout.

The league and players association had lengthy talks for the second consecutive day, and various outlets are reporting the two sides will continue talks on Thursday as the lockout nears two full months.

Tuesday marked the first time the two sides met for true negotiations since mid-October. While neither side would divulge any details, the fact that theyre talking that long hopefully means progress is being made.

I dont know how you can sit together that long and not make progress, Blackhawks forward Jamal Mayers said following Wednesdays practice. Its hard to speculate, but Im an eternal optimist. So Im going to think its a positive. Hopefully theyre making some common ground and hopefully the leagues come to the table ready to negotiate.

The two sides got off to a late-afternoon start on Wednesday and finished talks a little after 9 p.m. EST. Revenue sharing and the make whole provision were reportedly part of the discussion.

Each side made a statement following Wednesdays talks. League deputy commissioner Bill Daly said meetings were scheduled for tomorrow, but we do not intend to comment on the substance or subject matter of todays negotiations.

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehrs statement was also succinct: The NHLPA and the NHL met today to discuss many of the key issues. We look forward to resuming talks tomorrow.

With hours worth of talks over two consecutive days, players are optimistic.

When theyre in the room for a long time youre hoping its good, that theyre getting things done, said Dave Bolland. Fingers crossed, but you hope everythings going well.

And after so many instances where talks with each other were short and rants to the media were long, the trend has reversed. The league and players association have not held post-talk media sessions either day, and have kept details of discussions quiet. But in this case, the silence could be golden.

It hasnt worked the other way, so hopefully this approach yields more success, Mayers said.

Nearly two months worth of games has already been canceled, as has the Winter Classic. Perhaps this will be the end of the cancellations and the start of real progress toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

I know Im itching to get back and so are a lot of guys, Mayers said. Weve done some damage to the game already. Hopefully we can minimize it and get back to playing as soon as possible.

Blackhawks announce plans for NHL Draft Fan Fest

Blackhawks announce plans for NHL Draft Fan Fest

With exactly a month to go until Chicago hosts the 2017 NHL Draft for the first time ever, the Blackhawks and league announced Wednesday their plans for Fan Fest held outside the United Center on June 23 and 24.

A handful of Blackhawks players and alumni will be in attendance and made available for photo opportunities, as will the Stanley Cup. Fans will also be able to explore the NHL Centennial Fan Arena, "a 53-foot museum truck with an innovative interior featuring more than 1,000 square feet of interactive digital displays, original video content, one-of-a-kind historical memorabilia, unique photo moments and a social media wall," according to the press release.

A full list of activities, special guest appearances and schedule will be posted at a later date.

Friday's events will run from 3 to 9 p.m. while Saturday's festivites will go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Parking Lot C, north of the United Center.

Additional passes for the weekend will be made available to the public starting June 9. For more information, visit chicagoblackhawks.com/fanfest.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Vinnie Hinostroza talks rookie season and new wrinkle to offseason training

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Vinnie Hinostroza talks rookie season and new wrinkle to offseason training

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, forward Vinnie Hinostroza joins Pat Boyle and evaluates his rookie season, tells us how he has added MMA and Ju-jitsu to his offseason training and is he going to room with Ryan Hartman next season?

Plus, Tracey Myers joins Pat to discuss Patrick Kane’s first interview this offseason, the latest on the Blackhawks coaching moves and tournament fall-out for Artemi Panarin, Marcus Kruger and Alex DeBrincat.

Listen to the latest episode of the Hawks Talk Podcast below.