Sports shorts: NHL talks continue as sides inch toward possible deal

2013-01-01T00:00:00Z Sports shorts: NHL talks continue as sides inch toward possible dealWire Reports Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
January 01, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The NHL ended 2012 still in lockout mode, but negotiations between the league and the players' association over a possible deal were expected to continue today in New York for a second straight day.

After the sides met Monday, Commissioner Gary Bettman affirmed Jan. 19 as the start for a schedule of no fewer than 48 games if a collective bargaining agreement can be reached in time.

A delegation of players and NHLPA executives went to the league's Manhattan offices with their response to a nearly 300-page proposal the league made Thursday. Bettman called the union's response "a comprehensive one," and said NHL negotiators would analyze it Monday evening.

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said his group would remain in New York to resume talks today. He also said the union had made some movement toward the league's position but did not specify the nature of that movement.

The NHL's last proposal bent toward the players' stance in such areas as contract lengths (six years, with a seven-year exception for teams re-signing free agents) and a maximum year-to-year variance within a contract at 10 percent, up from 5 percent.

However, players say the NHL's proposed $60-million salary cap for 2013-14 is too low and they want a limit on escrow payments. Players also oppose the NHL's proposed 10-year term for the new labor deal, instead seeking a maximum of eight years.

• Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin and tennis' Maria Kirilenko are engaged, the two-time NHL MVP tweeted.

Tennis

Djokovic 'fine' after barrier falls

PERTH, Australia - Novak Djokovic shook off jetlag to beat Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 on Monday to help Serbia beat Italy 2-1 at the Hopman Cup, then avoided injury after the match when a courtside barrier collapsed while signing autographs.

The divider hit the Serb on his legs as it crashed and several fans went tumbling. Djokovic briefly squatted in discomfort but later took to the court for the mixed doubles, won by Italy 7-6 (4), 6-4. "It was a bit of a shock and I'm glad that the children involved are OK. I am fine," Djokovic said.

• Caroline Wozniacki's first trip to the Brisbane International in Australia ended in a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) first-round loss to qualifier Ksenia Pervak. Wozniacki followed up by dismissing speculation about an engagement to golf No. 1 Rory McIlroy. ... Svetlana Kuznetsova lost to unseeded Kiki Bertens 7-6 (6), 6-2, 7-5 in the first round of New Zealand's ASB Tennis Classic.

Baseball

KC gives Tejada comeback chance

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - Former AL MVP Miguel Tejada reached a minor league deal Monday with the Kansas City Royals and says he is ready to return to the majors. The infielder, 38, got a one-year contract that will be worth $1.1 million if he makes the big leagues.

Soccer

January transfer window begins

LONDON - Expect plenty of speculation about stars Cristiano Ronaldo, David Villa, Wesley Sneijder, Frank Lampard and Theo Walcott, among others, to be doing the rounds for the next month.

Yes, the "silly season" has arrived.

European soccer's January transfer window opens for business today, giving clubs a month-long chance to strengthen their squads for the second half of the season.

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who dubbed the transfer window "the silly season," has virtually ruled out making any signings in January, with his team top of the Premier League. But all his rival coaches are poised to make moves.

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