It's not easy to be optimistic about there being labor peace in the NHL considering the history of the leaders involved.
On the Players Association side there is executive director Donald Fehr, who led baseball into a strike on several occasions when he worked for that union.
And then there's a commissioner working for the owners in Gary Bettman who wasn't afraid to miss an entire season the last time there was a need for a new collective bargaining agreement.
The current CBA expires on Sept. 15.
"This is a totally different negotiation," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr have never worked together before. I'm optimistic and hopeful that they'll continue to talk. We're preparing for the season to start."
Multiple reports of the owners' initial proposal weren't as optimistic as Bowman. According to the reports, the owners asked for the players' share of revenue to drop from 57 percent to 46, unrestricted free agency to start after a player has been in the league 10 years and a limit on all contracts to five years.
Hawks captain Jonathan Toews is taking a wait-and-see approach to it all.
"We're concerned about reaching a fair deal, that's our No. 1 goal," Toews said. "Right now it's up to the league as to when we're going to get there.
"Things that they proposed, we've kept it internal and discussed it amongst ourselves. That's pretty much all I'm going to say about it right now."
Patrick Sharp hasn't let the threat of a work stoppage affect his off-season training.
"I'm preparing to play on time and that both sides will come to an agreement," Sharp said. "I don't want be that guy who prepares for lockout and shows up for camp out of shape."
Carcillo on the mend:
Daniel Carcillo, who missed the final 30 games last season with a torn ACL, which resulted from a hit he attempted to put on Edmonton defenseman Tom Gilbert, promises to be 100 percent for the start of training camp.
"It'll be nice to start skating with the guys in August," Carcillo said. "My knee feels stronger than ever."
Many Hawks fans would have loved to have Carcillo on the ice in Game 3 against Phoenix after Raffi Torres nearly decapitated Marian Hossa.
"You never like seeing that, one of your teammates going down like that," Carcillo said. "It was a tough hit and obviously hard to watch."
Special teams pressure:
Patrick Sharp says he will be feeling some pressure to get the special teams turned around next seasom.
"I feel pressure to figure out what happened last year," Sharp said. "Our power play had been one of the best in the league for two or three years prior to last season. We've got a new coach coming in (Jamie Kompon), and I know everyone is going to take more responsibility on it."