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Sports in brief

HOCKEY

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NHL talks still stuck in limbo

As the NHL lockout hit its 100th day Monday, league deputy commissioner Bill Daly said no talks were scheduled for this week.

"We haven't talked about meetings later this week," Daly said in an email to csnphilly.com. "I guess we will see."

The New York Post reported negotiations were expected to resume Wednesday or Thursday. After Daly and players association lawyer Steve Fehr spoke by phone Saturday, there was no expectation they would do so again before Wednesday, the Post said. The sides haven't met face to face since Dec. 13.

Resuming negotiations this week would leave the sides up to three weeks to reach a labor deal and begin a 48-game season. The league has said 48 is the minimum number of games it wants to play.

Games have been canceled through Jan. 14.

The major sticking points remain these:

•Owners want a 10-year deal that can be reopened after eight years. Players want an eight-year deal and a six-year reopener.

• Owners want contracts limited to five years, though teams could sign their own free agents for seven. Players suggest maximum eight-year deals.

• To stop contracts that circumvent the salary cap, owners want no more than a 5 percent difference in salary from year to year. Players would rather see a 25 percent high-low range.

• Players want amnesty contract buyouts that would not count against the cap. The league says no.

WORLD JUNIORS: Four Lightning prospects are playing in the world junior championship for players younger than 20 Wednesday through Jan. 5 in Ufa, Russia: forwards Nikita Kucherov (Russia) and Tanner Richard (Switzerland), defenseman Nikita Nesterov (Russia) and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (Russia).

SPEED SKATING

U.S. team sorts through turmoil

New U.S. short track coach Guy Thibault has about 13 months before the 2014 Games to repair the fissures in a program that splintered after Jae Su Chun resigned as coach amid allegations of abuse and cheating.

"It's a short window," said Thibault, a two-time Canadian Olympian and former U.S. long-track and Canadian short-track coach.

Chun resigned in October after being accused by a dozen skaters of physical, emotional and verbal abuse, and by one of ordering him to sabotage the skate of a rival at a meet.

Investigators hired by U.S. Speedskating found no evidence of any of the accusations, and Chun denies them all. He has accepted a suspension through the 2014 Games but is volunteering to coach some of the top skaters, including women's national champion Lana Gehring.

Consider the makeup of the World Cup team selected Saturday at the U.S. championships: Four are members of the national program under Thibault. Two are with Chun. Six are with another splinter group, FAST, that was part of the complaint against Chun.

"I don't expect some of them to become best friends by the Olympic Games, but I'm sure they will grow to respect their teammates," Thibault said.

Damian Cristodero, Times staff writer; Times wires

Sports in brief 12/24/12 [Last modified: Monday, December 24, 2012 6:52pm]
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