There is some new optimism brewing in the NHL collective bargaining negotiations, as NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA general counsel Steve Fehr held a lengthy meeting in a secret location over the weekend. Another meeting is set for Tuesday, which would make it seem like some progress is getting made toward a new deal that would end the lockout.
"We'd rather be talking than not talking, so that's definitely a positive. But nobody's holding their breath unless there are new proposals or changes coming from it," said the Blackhawks defenseman and player representative. "I'm not expecting much from it because I don't know how far (the league) will come toward our side. We've come far enough with continued concessions. But our goal is to always talk. That's important."
Pressure is building to reach a deal, as time is running out before perhaps the whole season is lost. Games through November have already been canceled, as has the 2013 Winter Classic on New Year's Day, a huge part of the NHL regular season.
The hope is that the two sides can build off Saturday's talks, and it would be a good sign if more meetings are scheduled after Tuesday's bargaining session.