Informal NHL CBA talks to take place on Friday, updates on Mike Smith, Shea Weber and Logan Couture, and remembering Yaroslavl Lokomotiv one year after the entire team perished in a plane crash.

ASSOCIATED PRESS (VIA DALLAS MORNING NEWS): Informal discussions have taken place between the NHL and NHLPA in an effort to renew CBA negotiations which broke off last Friday.

NEW YORK POST: Representatives from both sides are expected to meet for informal talks today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been suggested negotiations could start up again in earnest around September 10 in hopes of reaching a resolution prior to the September 15 expiry date of the current CBA. Time will tell if this is the case.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Neither NHL commissioner Gary Bettman or NHLPA director Donald Fehr will draw salaries in the event of an NHL lockout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve got a better idea: why not pool your salaries and use it to pay those NHL  and NHLPA employees  (and I don’t mean the players, management, or coaching staff) who face layoffs or a reduction in salary if there’s a lockout? That’ll do more good!

NORTHJERSEY.COM: NY Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist points out the NHLPA isn’t seeking more money, but rather a CBA which works for both sides.

 CSNCHICAGO.COM: A lengthy lockout could affect the careers of Blackhawks stars like Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Lack of Coyotes ownership hurt Smith’s contract talks.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith, who’s eligible for UFA status next summer, admitted a possible departure of team captain Shane Doan would be a big blow to the team.  The club’s lack of ownership has also affected negotiations between Smith and management in signing a contract extension.

 THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber hopes to move beyond what’s been a “tough, stressful” contract drama.

CSNBAYAREA.COM: San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture has been wooed by teams from Germany and Switzerland, but he’s not expected to make a decision about playing in Europe, preferring to await the outcome of NHL CBA negotiations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I suspect NHL players who opt to play in Europe could make that decision sometime in October if there’s a lockout, especially if negotiations fall apart and the two sides decline to continue talks.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Remembering KHL team Yaroslavl Lokomotiv one year after the team perished in a plane crash, killing former NHL’ers like coach Brad McCrimmon,  assistant coaches Igor Korolev and Alexander Karpovtsev, and players “such as Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Karlis Skrastins, Karel Rachunek, Josef Vasicek, Jan Marek.”