With some second-guessing floating around and one strange report claiming the lockout was nearly over, the NHL owners and players met Tuesday in New York City — minus their lead negotiators — for what some believed was a last ditch effort to revive the CBA talks and save the season. On Wednesday, the Board of Governors meets and it had been expected it would set a doomsday timetable, establishing a date after which even an abbreviated schedule would not be played.
But, for the first time in these negotiations, Tuesday’s session yielded some signs of cautious optimism.
In a very brief joint press conference (!!) following the seven-and-a-half hours of meetings Tuesday (video), NHLPA general counsel Steve Fehr said, “I thought we had a constructive day. We had a good dialogue. In some ways I’d say it might be the best day we’ve had…There’s still a lot of work to do and a lot to be done, but we will be back at in tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.”
And NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly added, “I think everybody is working hard. I think everybody wants to get a deal done, so I think that’s encouraging. We look forward to making more progress tomorrow.”
We haven’t heard anything remotely like that since talks began in July.