Blackhawks

NHLPA offers proposal, both sides expected to meet Tuesday

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NHLPA offers proposal, both sides expected to meet Tuesday

After going through the NHLs 288-page proposal this weekend, the NHLPA handed their much-shorter proposal to the league during talks on Monday. And the two will spend New Years Day talking more.

The players association offered their own proposal when the two sides met today in New York City. As the New Years Eve revelry increased outside the NHL offices near Times Square late Monday afternoon, the two sides broke off talks for the day.

But theyll get back together soon.

Their response was a comprehensive one dealing with the full slate of issues that we raised and proposals we put forth, league commissioner Gary Bettman told New York media tonight. Were in the process of reviewing their response. Were going to do that tonight, and the expectation is well contact them tomorrow morning and get back together hopefully by midday.

Bettman did not talk specifics about the NHLPA proposal. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, when asked if the players made any movement on their latest proposal, said yes, but Im not going to describe it beyond that. SportsNets John Shannon reported that the NHLPA proposal was 26 pages.

We covered the range of subjects they covered. Their document included a very long list of contract language as opposed to bullet-point items, Fehr said.

Asked if owners could come back into the negotiation picture, Bettman said, thats not currently contemplated. Well see how things develop.

This is as congenial of talks that the league and NHLPA have had in quite some time. We all remember Dec. 6, when Fehr went to the podium in New York and proclaimed the two sides close to a deal. An angry Bettman followed shortly after, saying that was not the case.

Both sides are scurrying to draw up a new collective bargaining agreement in the hopes of at least a 48-game hockey season.

We need to drop the puck by Jan. 19 if were going to play a 48-game season, Bettman said. It doesnt make sense to play a season shorter than that.

Artem Anisimov keeps his vow, dons a mustache and raises his productivity in November

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Artem Anisimov keeps his vow, dons a mustache and raises his productivity in November

Artem Anisimov wasn’t happy with his October.

The Blackhawks center struggled the first month of the season. Maybe it was adjusting to new line mates after being with the same two for two seasons. Maybe it was just a slow start. Maybe it was more than that. Regardless, Anisimov was frustrated. So as October turned to November, Anisimov told Patrick Sharp that he was going to get back on track.

“He’s scoring lots of goals and he said he was going to in the month of November,” Sharp recalled. “So he’s backing it up.”

Anisimov is doing that, recording five goals in his last three games including a hat trick against his former team, the New York Rangers, on Wednesday. Since November’s start, Anisimov has seven goals.

“My start of the season was not great,” Anisimov said. “But I keep working hard and be focused and say, ‘OK, November. I’m going to step up in November and forward.’”

When told of Anisimov’s prediction to Sharp, coach Joel Quenneville said, “well, now he set a precedent. We’ll have to look for it every month now.

“Quite a standard he was looking to achieve and got off to a great start here,” Quenneville said. “When Arty’s at the net he makes good plays, takes it to the net, draws some traffic to him and opens up other lanes behind him. I still think he has a purpose defensively, which he can add to that line.”

Anisimov’s resurgence coincides with the Blackhawks doing the same thing; after an up-and-down start, both are finding their rhythm again. For the Blackhawks it could be finding some line chemistry. For Anisimov it might be the same thing; he and Kane have been back together since Nov. 12, and those two and Nick Schmaltz have combined for a dynamic second line.

Or is it that mustache that Anisimov’s growing for Movember?

“I thought when you were saying what you were saying (about Anisimov’s vow), he made that statement when he got Kaner back on his line. But I think it was right when he shaved his beard into a mustache. That’s when he took off,” Jonathan Toews said with a laugh. “So that’s the biggest correlation right there.”

OK, teaming up with Kane again probably looms larger. The two have had great chemistry dating back to the 2015-16 season, when they first teamed with Artemi Panarin. Kane’s puck possession helps free Anisimov up to do his work at the net, and he’s been capitalizing there.

“He’s had a great month. He’s just one of those guys who gets to the front of the net and finds ways to be productive,” Kane said. “Maybe seven or eight games ago people were talking about how he was struggling and now he’s having a great start to the season. It shows how a few games can change that but he’s been great for us, not only scoring a lot of goals but a lot of big goals to get some wins.”

Still, hockey players are a superstitious lot. Players have ribbed Anisimov about the mustache — “I asked him to serve me a sparkling water on the airplane because he looks like a waiter in France or something,” Sharp said. But considering Anisimov’s mustache and the points sprouted at the same time, they’re now imploring Anisimov to keep it.

“Yep,” Anisimov said with a grin. “That’s true.”

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: After 20 games, do we know the identity of this Blackhawks team?

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: After 20 games, do we know the identity of this Blackhawks team?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast Tracey Myers and Jamal Mayers join Pat Boyle to discuss the teams wins over the Rangers and Penguins.  Have they figured some things out and what is the identity of this team after 20 games?

Jammer weighs in on Artem Anisimov’s big week and are there enough Hawks committed to net front presence?  They also discuss the surging play of the blue liners and did the Hawks fail to send a message to Evgeni Malkin, after he kneed Corey Crawford in the head?