Nearly 12,000 Chicago Blackhawks fans were treated to a high-scoring charity hockey fix Friday night, while the real game was the posturing between the NHL and its locked-out players.
Members of the Blackhawks' 2010 Stanley Cup team skated against a squad made up of a grab bag of other NHL players, including Anaheim's Bobby Ryan, Carolina's Jordan Staal and Minnesota defenceman Ryan Suter. The Blackhawks lost 16-15 in a shootout, but Chicago star Patrick Kane had five goals. After the NHL cancelled games through November earlier Friday, much of the buzz at the Allstate Arena -- home of the AHL's Chicago Wolves -- focused on the work stoppage. The lockout has claimed 326-regular-season contests and the NHL maintains playing a full 82-game schedule is no longer possible after a league-imposed deadline for a deal with the NHLPA passed. Leading the conversation was NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, who met with players earlier in the day. Fehr and players say the NHL's primary negotiation tactic seems to be stall -- and follow a scripted timetable. Nothing they've done over the several past weeks has been very much of a surprise," Fehr said.