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NHL, players gathering again in secret location

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NHL, players gathering again in secret location

The prospect of the NHL salvaging a truncated season has reached a critical stage.

Representatives from the NHL and the players’ union are scheduled to meet at a private location in New York again on Wednesday after spending more than seven hours at the bargaining table on Tuesday, ending their session at 10:15 p.m.

Both sides have stayed away from characterizing the negotiations, saying they will wait until they conclude their talks to provide an update.

“With meetings scheduled to resume Wednesday, the league will not characterize the substance or detail of the discussions until their conclusion,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement late Tuesday night.

“I’m not going to comment on signs; I’m not going to prognosticate, I’m not going to predict,” NHLPA executive director Don Fehr said before Tuesday’s session. “It’s not something which in my experience is a productive thing to do. We’ll just wait.”

Meanwhile a season of hockey hangs in the balance. After canceling the Winter Classic on Friday there are fears that if this week’s negotiations are not productive the NHL would be in danger of losing an entire season for the second time in eight years.

The key issue between the two sides remains the “make whole” provision offered by the owners in their Oct. 16 proposal. If the owners agree to pay in full the current contracts mutually agreed upon with their players in the form of deferred payments it could lead the way toward solving some of the other sticking points between the two sides.

 Those sticking points include the maximum length of player contracts, rookie contracts, and at what point players can be eligible for arbitration, restricted free agency and unrestricted free agency.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

The Capitals got their trade deadline started early by trading for defensemen Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek. Washington has been struggling of late, but do their new acquisitions address the team's weaknesses?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir evaluate the two trades and talk about where they could fit into the lineup.

You can listen to the latest episode here on the Capitals Faceoff page or with the player below.

Want even more great Capitals coverage? Follow @TarikNBCS and @JJReganNBCS on Twitter!

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Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

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USA TODAY Sports

Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

The Capitals continued to retool their scuffling blue line on Wednesday, acquiring 26-year-old defenseman Jakub Jerabek from Montreal in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019.

The move comes a couple of days after GM Brian MacLellan dealt a conditional third-round selection to Chicago for swift skating Michal Kempny.

Both Jerabek and Kempny are left shot, puck-moving defensemen who move well and make crisp outlet passes. Both also hail from the Czech Republic.

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The team sees Jerabek as a No. 5 or 6, I’m told.

On Wednesday, the Caps also officially said goodbye to Taylor Chorney, who was claimed off waivers by Columbus. Chorney will report to the Blue Jackets.

The Caps were off on Wednesday as they made their way Florida for Thursday night’s meeting with the Panthers, so it’s unclear how Coach Barry Trotz intends to deploy his new defensemen.

But it’s probably safe to assume that Kempny will move into a spot within the top four with John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen.

MORE CAPITALS: GET TO KNOW MICHAL KEMPNY

That figures to leave Brooks Orpik and Jerabek on the third pair, while rookies Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey jockey for position as the next man up.

Kempny is expected to make his Caps’ debut on Thursday night.

Is the Caps’ D corps better? Well, that remains to be seen. But it had become clear to MacLellan and Co. in recent weeks that the status quo was not going to cut it. This month, in fact, the team has allowed 39 goals in 10 games. Only the Rangers (40) have allowed more in the same span.

With the trade deadline looming next Monday, the Caps now have roughly $617,000 in cap space, according to www.capfriendly.com, and are at the roster maximum of 23 players. So they would need to make a move in order to add another body.