NHL labor talks that began in the daylight hours Wednesday stretched to nearly nine hours and both sides plan to meet again later Thursday.
It isn’t known what progress — if any — was been made during the second straight day of marathon talks in the dispute that is threatening the entire hockey season, but owners and players surely sense that time is now a factor and a deal must be made soon to get the game back on the ice.
Negotiations resumed Wednesday and stretched deep into the night again, this time in fits and starts, as the league and the players’ association searched for an agreement. The sides began talks a little after 2 p.m. and kept going through the night, except for a two-hour dinner break.
Talks on Tuesday lasted about eight hours and wrapped up at midnight, with the promise that negotiations would continue Wednesday.
Very little information leaked out of the meeting room, but it is believed that each side submitted proposals to the other and spent lots of time apart discussing what was offered. One point of contention is the ultimate length of the new contract, with owners looking for a 10-year pact, and players wanting a shorter term.
• Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez will coach the team in the Rose Bowl after six Badgers captains asked if him, according to a source close to the program.
Previous coach Bret Bielema left the program for the same job at Arkansas earlier this week.
Alvarez led the Badgers to three Rose Bowl wins before retiring after the 2006 Capital One Bowl.
Bielema, 0-2 in the Rose Bowl at Wisconsin coach, confirmed to Arkansas reporters he would not be coaching the Badgers against Stanford.
• Rutgers University is suing the Big East Conference, trying to avoid paying an exit fee.
Rutgers is trying to avoid a $10 million hit for leaving en route to the Big Ten. Big East bylaws state a school must give 27 months’ notice and pay a $10 million withdrawal fee.
The lawsuit, filed in Middlesex County Superior Court on Wednesday, says the Big East selectively enforced the rules. Rutgers claims some schools did and some did not have to give notice or pay the fee on their way out of the embattled conference. The Big East allowed Syracuse, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and TCU to leave the league before the 27-month period had run its course.
• The Los Angeles Angels added two more new arms to their retooled pitching staff by agreeing to a $15 million, two-year contract with right-hander Joe Blanton and an $8 million, two-year deal with left-handed reliever Sean Burnett.
Blanton, who turns 32 next week, was 10-13 with a 4.71 ERA this year for the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers, who acquired him on Aug. 3.