The NHL and NHLPA are set to meet on Friday in New York, but Chicago Blackhawks defenseman and player representative Steve Montador does not think a deal will get done this weekend. This is a reflection of the sad reality for hockey fans, because the league and the player's union are miles apart on core economic issues that will necessarily form the foundation of any new CBA agreement. Montador told CSN-Chicago that it will probably be a "thanks but no thanks" type of talk when it comes to core economic discussions over the weekend:
"I don't anticipate a deal getting done this weekend, but the fact the lines of communication are still open (is good)," Montador said. "It's not, ‘If it's not core economic issues, there's nothing to talk about.' It's not that stance. The reality is, the deal isn't just the core economics. Even if the core itself was done this weekend, time still has to be put into other issues."
The good news is that both sides are still talking. The bad news is that they won't be saying much about the most important issues, and will likely be focusing on secondary, less-contentious negotiation points like travel, pensions, benefits and medical care.