Two sides agree: Talks have been good

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Two sides agree: Talks have been good

Most recent stories of NHL and NHLPA negotiations, or lack thereof, have been gloomy.

Few talks, abrupt ends to those that have taken place, and angry words from each side have been prevalent.

But on Saturday, something unusual happened: the two sides talked, and talked for a while. They talked until the early morning hours on Sunday, actually. And for the first time in weeks, theres actually some reason to be optimistic.

NHL commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr met at an undisclosed location on Saturday, and the two sides will reportedly meet again early this week. Daly and Fehr talked until after 1 a.m. Eastern time, according to various reports.

And get this: they agreed on something.

We had a series of meetings over the course of the day and had a good, frank discussion on the most important issues separating us, Daly told NHL.com.

I agree with what Bill said, Fehr said in a statement. Hopefully we can continue the dialogue, expand the group and make steady progress.

Agreeing they had a good, frank talk. Hey, for two sides who couldnt agree on who ended a negotiating session in August, thats definitely a positive.

Saturdays talks were the first since mid-October, when the two sides parted not so amicably. The NHL came with a proposal featuring a 50-50 split in hockey-related revenue, whatever its true definition may be. The players association came with three proposals, including one that went 50-50 in the first year as long as the league honored existing player contracts. Talks went south quick, as the league said the two were speaking different languages.

So Saturdays news was good news. And if it helps both sides to keep meeting at secret locations, by all means keep doing it. Tuck yourselves away in some tiki bar in Florida if need be. If taking all the rhetoric and the saidhe said out of the negotiations leads to this getting done quicker, hide away.

Its something. Its progress. And its a glimmer of hope in negotiations that have had very little.

Fire fans swarm O'Hare to greet Bastian Schweinsteiger

Fire fans swarm O'Hare to greet Bastian Schweinsteiger

In the age of social media you can track something like Bastian Schweinsteiger's flight to Chicago in almost real-time.

The Chicago Fire publicized Schweinsteiger's Tuesday arrival in Chicago, giving fans details of when his plane was expected to arrive and at what terminal.

First, Schweinsteiger and his former tennis player wife, Ana Ivanovic, both tweeted photos to their millions of followers about their trip.

Once they arrived, the mob scene at O'Hare was on. Schweinsteiger was greeted by hundreds of fans.

Check out the video above for some footage of Schweinsteiger's arrival.

He will be introduced formally with a press conference on Wednesday at 3 p.m. from the Fire Pitch in Chicago. The press conference will air on CSN+ and be streamed live on CSNChicago.com.

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd discuss the latest slump and how much does Artem Anisimov's injury play a role in their struggles?

Konroyd tells us he was surprised by Ryan Hartman's benching in Tampa.

The guys play the game, playoff minutes or press box minutes?  They run through the players who are on the bubble when it comes to postseason play.

They also discuss the Hawks chances of overtaking Washington for the President's trophy.

Plus, Konroyd breaks down possible first round opponents: St Louis, Calgary and Nashville.