NHL, NHLPA once again getting close in talks

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NHL, NHLPA once again getting close in talks

The NHL and NHLPA have patched things up and are continuing to push toward a new CBA with deadlines surrounding them.

After two days of separate meetings with federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly made their way to the players New York City hotel on Saturday afternoon for the first face-to-face meeting since Thursday.

Beckenbaughs work on Friday and Saturday was crucial in getting the two parties close enough to get in the same room, and perhaps building some of the trust that had been frayed by a pair of misunderstandings this week.

Its been reported that progress has been made in the area of the pension plan and the second year salary cap number, and that both sides are showing encouraging amounts of movement toward a middle ground. Former NHL defenseman Bret Hedican even tweeted on Saturday afternoon that: Nothing official yet that I've heard, but several sources have said it's done. Let's hope this is Official!

But several players contacted by CSNNE.com indicated that theyve heard no official word about the lockout being over, and were skeptical about any reports saying otherwise.

Those NHL players contacted by CSNNE.com are in Ill Believe It When I See It mode after spending too much time on the CBA meat grinder over the last four months.

The assumption is that the NHL and NHLPA are working diligently for an agreement as the hours count down to the players association having another opportunity to file a disclaimer of interest motion at 6 p.m. The NHL is still on target for a Jan. 19 start to the regular season that would open up a 48-game shortened regular season featuring a compacted schedule against only conference foes.

A dose of reality: the NHL and NHLPA have been close to agreements on several occasions in the last month and have had talks disintegrate quickly over one snag or another. So cautious optimism is once again the phrase of the day.

Bruins looking forward to getting World Cup teammates, coach back

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Bruins looking forward to getting World Cup teammates, coach back

BRIGHTON, Mass. – With the World Cup of Hockey and Team Canada crowned as champions, the final few Bruins players involved in the international hockey tournament will be filtering back into regular training camp.

It was a brilliant tourney for Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, especially while forming the World Cup’s best forward line with Sidney Crosby. Marchand was one of the leading scorers and had the clutch game-winner in the decisive game.

As a line they combined for a ridiculous 25 points in six games and it was Marchand who scored a couple of the biggest goals in the biggest games against Russia and Team Europe.

“They did it all of last season for us, so I’m not shocked. They played well throughout the entire time they played there, so I’m really happy for them,” said Ryan Spooner. “It’s been kind of a weird camp. We’ve been missing a lot of guys, and to get all of those guys back is huge. They’re the leaders of the team, so to get them back is good.

“Marchand around the room is a funny guy, so he’s definitely missed. We miss them all.”

Zdeno Chara was a force for the surprising rag-tag group of players on Team Europe and led them to the best-of-three final series against Team Canada. Now that it’s over, the B’s teammates are looking forward to all three joining fellow World Cup participants Tuukka Rask, David Pastrnak and David Backes at camp probably at some point next week.

“It does [feel like training camp], but it will be nice to get those guys back,” said Adam McQuaid. “They are big parts of this team. We’re looking forward to having those guys back, for sure.”

That also includes getting their coach, Claude Julien, back as well after missing his presence while he served behind the Canadian bench with Mike Babcock and Barry Trotz. He’ll be rejoining the Bruins over the next couple of days, and getting through preseason road games against Detroit and Philadelphia before making some tough decisions on cuts at main training camp.

That’s when things will officially start getting back to normal for a training camp that’s felt like something was a little missing over the first few weeks of getting ready for the season. 

Friday, Sept. 30: It's all Bruins in World Cup final

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Friday, Sept. 30: It's all Bruins in World Cup final

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while taking a nap this afternoon so I can watch the 1:30 am replay of tonight’s Bruins/Red Wings game on the NHL Network.

*Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara scored the goals at the World Cup’s decisive game on Thursday night, and No. 63 got the clutch game-winner late in the third period for Team Canada. Then he watched as linemate Sidney Crosby won the MVP for the tournament in what could be perceived, from a Boston point of view, as a largely Canadian-based hockey media fawning over Sid the Kid once again. Look, he was the tournament’s leading scorer, but last night’s heroics probably should have tipped the scales toward the B’s agitator getting the World Cup hardware.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Halford has Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm seeking an eight year deal from his team. That could be another contract negotiation to watch closely if you’re a Bruins fan.

*Zach Werenski, one of the D-men the Bruins were trying to trade up to get two years ago in the first round of the draft, is looking like he might be NHL-ready for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

*Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov is holding out with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and just wants to get paid like the rest of his teammates.

*Marian Hossa says he still wants to play hockey when he’s 42 years old, or close to the age that countrymen Zdeno Chara is right now.

*Here are some preseason college hockey storylines with the world of NCAA hockey about to start up in force.

*A judge has ruled that the family of the late Derek Boogaard may pursue a lawsuit against the NHL over the death of their son.

*For something completely different: “Tex Ryan” takes his jokes to open mic night and I’m fairly this is Toucher and Rich skewering the Buffalo Bills head coach. And rightfully so.