Is it time to give up on a full NHL season?

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Is it time to give up on a full NHL season?

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- The little hope that existed for a full NHL season appears to be gone.Shortly after the players' reached out to the league on Tuesday night to restart stalled labor negotiations, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly rebuffed the union's attempt.NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said last week, in presenting the league's most recent offer to the players, that if a new collective bargaining agreement wasn't reached by this Thursday, it would be impossible for a full regular-season schedule to be played.No talks have been scheduled, and no last-minute discussions seem to be on tap."I don't anticipate any taking place for the balance of the week," Daly said in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday night. "The union has rejected the proposal we made last Tuesday and is not offering another one. We see nothing to be gained at this point by meeting just to meet."Following a call for the union's executive board Tuesday night, the players' association informed the NHL it is willing to meet on Wednesday "or any other date, without preconditions, to try to reach an agreement," the players' association said in a statement.The NHL's response wasn't what the union had hoped to hear.The sides haven't met since the league turned down three counterproposals from the union on Thursday, two days after the NHL's offer that included a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue. Because the players' association hasn't shown an inclination to negotiate off of that NHL proposal, a stalemate now exists and could last for a while."The league is apparently unwilling to meet," NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr said in a statement. "That is unfortunate as it is hard to make progress without talking."The developments on Tuesday night came hours after more discourse between the sides on the 38th day of the league's lockout.While negotiators for the NHL and union kept conversations to a minimum, club officials had a brief window last week to discuss the league's latest proposal.Those secretive discussions haven't produced any breakthrough, but they have inflamed an already unsettled atmosphere. The union hierarchy wasn't informed about the window then, and isn't happy about it."Most owners are not allowed to attend bargaining meetings," Fehr said earlier Tuesday. "No owners are allowed to speak to the media about the bargaining. It is interesting that they are secretly unleashed to talk to the players about the meetings the players can attend, but the owners cannot."The NHL said Tuesday that team officials were able to have temporary contact with players, although there were parameters regarding what could be discussed."From our perspective, this is a nonissue and a nonstory," Daly said Tuesday in an email to The Associated Press. "There is nothing -- legally or otherwise -- that precludes club personnel from communicating with their players."But, more important, is the fact that NHL officials aren't haven't productive talks with union leaders. Now it seems that a full season, starting on Nov. 2, won't take place.As of now, the league has called off all games through Nov. 1. Without a deal this week, those games are in danger of being called off for good.Last week, the NHL's most recent contract offer was presented to the union and then publicly released in full. The union returned to the bargaining table last Thursday with its various counterproposals, that would also get to an even split of hockey revenue, but each was quickly rejected by the league.There is a major divide between the sides over how to deal with existing player contracts. The union wants to ensure that those are all paid in full without affecting future player contracts.No negotiations have taken place since last week, but the sides held two conference calls over the weekend to address questions the union had regarding the NHL offer.After the NHL released it on Wednesday, club officials were given until Friday to speak to players and answer questions they might have about the proposal.In an internal league memo obtained by The Canadian Press, the NHL stated that those discussions must be limited to the contents of the proposal on the table. It also provided examples of questions that shouldn't be asked of players and noted that straying from the rules could "cause serious legal problems.""You may not ask (a player) what he or others have in mind," the memo stated. "If he volunteers what he has in mind you should not respond positively or negatively or ask any questions but instead refer him to the NHLPA."Likewise, you may not suggest hypothetical proposals that the league might make in the future or that the league might entertain from the union."This was the first time club officials were permitted by the NHL to talk to players since the lockout took effect Sept. 16.

Casspi thanks Kings after trade to Pelicans: 'Definitely isn't easy'

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USATSI

Casspi thanks Kings after trade to Pelicans: 'Definitely isn't easy'

The Kings traded Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the forward to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

I want to thank the Sacramento Kings organization for the opportunity to play basketball in front of the great fans of Sacramento. My wife and I felt in Sacramento like being home and this is something we both will cherish for ever. This definitely isn't easy for me and my family to leave, and you all know how much I love our city, organization and fans but the time has come. I want to wish nothing but success to my Kings. I will definitely will follow and cheer from afar. 
Always a big part of my heart, 
Omri #18

Casspi, 28, averaged 5.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 18 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

MESA, Ariz. — Adam Rosales has a real simple plan for which infield position he chooses to try to get work at.

“Wherever there’s less guys, I go over there,” he explained with a smile.

The sun came out and the A’s finally got on the field for their first full-squad workout Monday after being rained out Sunday. That meant Rosales, back for his second go-round as an Athletic, got his first chance to prepare for what figures to be a super-utility role, which is how he’s carved out a nine-year major league career.

All indications are that he’ll be the primary backup infielder, capable of spelling Jed Lowrie at second base, Marcus Semien at shortstop, Trevor Plouffe at third and even fill in at first base or left field in a pinch.

Though Rosales, who spent 2010-12 with Oakland and re-signed in January on a one-year $1.25 million deal, is well-versed in preparing himself all over the diamond, one position in particular is one that he says is most difficult to master in limited time.

“Shortstop,” he offered without hesitation. “There’s a lot more going on there, a lot less room for error. At shortstop, especially with a guy like Mike Trout running, you’ve got to be in good rhythm, good timing, get rid of the ball and make an accurate throw.”

Depending on how the A’s prioritize their 25-man roster, Rosales could very well be the only backup infielder. That means fellow infielders Joey Wendle and Chad Pinder would start in the minors if the A’s were to keep a fifth outfielder or third catcher. But because the A’s have some players who can fill in at multiple spots, there’s numerous ways they can choose to configure the roster when it comes time to pare it down.

Rosales, 33, said walking back into the A’s clubhouse for the first time made him “feel like I’m back home.” So much of the support staff — equipment guys, clubhouse guys — are the same as when he was here before. He was also happy to see former infield mate Mark Ellis walk through the door Sunday. He says Ellis, a teammate from 2010-11, instilled in him the importance of being a great defender. Ellis is working as a part-time spring instructor.

“He told me, the No. 1 reason he was in the big leagues was because of this,” Rosales said, holding up his glove. “I was such a young player then. I’d always work with him, how to turn double plays. Just to have him around is awesome.”

NOTEWORTHY: Sonny Gray and Kendall Graveman were among the pitchers who faced hitters for the first time this season. Bruce Maxwell caught Gray, his first time behind the plate with Gray other than the one inning Gray threw in an abbreviated start at Anaheim toward the end of last season. Maxwell said Gray’s changeup in particular looked good.

Manager Bob Melvin has been very impressed early on with Graveman’s command. Graveman said he’s trying to improve his changeup, in an effort to induce weak contact from righties and get them on the their front foot, which could then make him more effective on the inside corner.

CAMP BATTLE: There could be a good fight for the seventh and final spot in the bullpen, and it would seem being left-handed could give someone an edge. Sean Doolittle is the only lefty currently projected among the A’s top six relievers. Melvin had good things to say about Daniel Coulombe, a lefty who made 35 appearances in relief last year and also saw a bit of time with Oakland in 2015. Coulombe posted a 4.53 ERA last season but struck out 54 in 47 2/3 innings.