Since talks between owners and players broke down last week, owners and players have yet to meet again to come to a resolution and end the lockout. With all games cancelled through December 30, the situation has become more grim with nearly two-and-a-half months of hockey already wiped off.
It appears plans for more meetings are gaining traction, though, according to ESPN.com. Commissioner Gary Bettman has said he doesn't want a season with fewer than 48 games per team, which would require the season to start sometime in mid-January. Talks must progress relatively soon if that is to be a distinct possibility.
We have not seen Chicago Blackhawks hockey since April 23, when Chicago was blanked 4-0 by the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 6 of the first round of the playoffs.
There will be plenty of pressing orders of business once the Blackhawks are able to practice and play together as a unit in 2013. Let's take a look at those five things.