The latest NHL CBA news, and updates on Patrick Marleau, Valtteri Filppula, Andrej Meszaros, Brandon Dubinsky and more.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the NHL and NHLPA have no formal CBA talks scheduled, suggesting the possibility of a 60-game schedule starting December 1 is starting to fade.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun lists the “make whole” provision, player contracting rights and the damage of the lockout as the three key areas blocking the path toward a new CBA, and his suggestions on how they could be resolved. He does suggest that, as bleak as things seem now, a breakthrough in talks could occur with no apparent momentum leading up to it. LeBrun remains hopeful of the season starting sometime in December, but “don’t hold me to it”.

Crosby more vocal in criticism of NHL owners.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has stepped up his criticism of the NHL owners of late, chiding them for refusing to be flexible with their demands.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins player rep Craig Adams suggested the NHLPA would welcome bringing in a mediator to resolve the NHL lockout, but doesn’t feel the league would approve.

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Jeff Gordon believes NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has failed to manage owner expectations, address all owners needs, command the players respect or respect the strength of his adversary, Donald Fehr.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Tom Jones calls for Bettman and Fehr to step away from the table and allow their underlings to negotiate a deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not the first time a pundit has called for those two to step aside in negotiations and probably won’t be the last as this lockout drags on. Hearing more calls among the MSM for a mediator to be brought in, but since we didn’t see one brought into the last two lockouts, don’t expect to see one now. The two sides are close to a deal, much closer than they were at this time during the previous lockout. Flexibility on both sides is required. The players have to realize they’re not gonna get their full salaries for the lost portion of this season, while the league needs to step back from some of its demands for changes to player contracts. I’ll have more about that later today in my Soapbox.

MERCURYNEWS.COM: Patrick Marleau responds to former teammate Jeremy Roenick’s criticism of him in his new book.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula suffered a knee injury playing in Finland. The full extent of the injury is not known.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It figures, I select Filppula for one of my fantasy teams, and he gets hurt days later. With my luck, he won’t be able to play if/when the NHL returns to action this season. On a serious note, hopefully he won’t be sidelined for long.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros, recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, is back skating three months after suffering the injury.

ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS: Columbus Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky suffered a broken hand blocking a shot in a recent game with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL. The full extent of the injury is unknown but he could be sidelined for weeks.

 DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Should the Stars change their colors to red, white and blue?

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No, they shouldn’t. What the hell is wrong with their current jersey and colors?