Bill Daly

Daly says “sometime in mid-January” is point of no return

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NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed today on Toronto radio that the point of no return for the cancelation of the season is “sometime in mid-January.”

Daly’s assertion is consistent with what happened after the 1994-95 lockout when a 48-game schedule started on Jan. 20. (Granted, the 2004-05 season wasn’t officially canceled until Feb. 16.)

Daly also said it was a “crap shoot” how the NHL recovers from yet another work stoppage:

“There’s nobody fooling anybody that what’s going on right now and the fact that we’re not playing hockey is a good thing for either the sport or the brand.”

Other highlights of the interview:

—- No talks between the NHL and NHLPA are scheduled.

—- Daly identified a defined benefit pension plan as well as a “far more robust revenue sharing system” (with NHLPA input) as things the players said they wanted and the league has agreed to.

—- Daly expects the players to vote “overwhelmingly” to authorize the NHLPA executive board to file a disclaimer of interest. However, that’s not the same as actually dissolving the union. (Translation: not a particularly big deal.) However, if the union does ultimately choose to file, it could “prolong any resolution.”

—- Daly said for the union to “suggest we have a 50-50 split is wrong” without first addressing issues like compliance buyouts and caps on escrow.

—- More games will probably be canceled before Christmas. (The schedule has already been canceled through Dec. 30.)

You can listen to the full interview here.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)