The NHL and the NHLPA met for the fourth consecutive day on Friday in their attempt to come to a new collective bargaining agreement. By most accounts it was a lot like Thursday: they got very little done. (You can be outraged by this, but I remind you that spending an entire Friday at the office while accomplishing next to nothing is pretty much an American tradition.)
But it's not as though we didn't hear from either side today. In the morning, a memo from Donald Fehr to the players somehow magically found its way into the hands of NHL broadcast partners NBC and TSN. In it, Fehr did not seem all that enthused by the direction of the meetings, mentioning "significant gaps".
Some in the hockey world felt that Fehr was being overly pessimistic. I would argue that he was being consciously pessimistic, if not just realistic. Considering the players are, by his own admission, a little frightened, the last thing you want to do is get their hopes up and then have to tell them that there's been a setback. Managing the emotional response of the 700-plus constituents on that mailing list is a large part of the gig.