The NHL and the NHLPA met this weekend for three days of talks, but since no progress was made in ending the lockout, next week's regular season openers are still very much in danger.
#CBA As Daly pointed out, negotiations haven't broken off, NHL wants some time to review info internally. Optimistic they'll meet again soon— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) September 30, 2012
#CBA Fehr said HRR was not topic of discussion. Two sides talked about player safety issues and CBA legal issues. Said it was productive— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) September 30, 2012
The lack of progress on the core economic issues was a little disappointing, even if these issues weren't the main items on the agenda this weekend. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly expects the players to fix this (via Dan Rosen of NHL.com).
Daly on critical economic issues: "We need them to be scheduled as a subject of a meeting. Right now the Union is not prepared to do that."— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) September 30, 2012
Until the two sides spend an entire day's worth of meetings talking solely about the economic issues, the regular season isn't going to start on time.
It will be interesting to see if either side makes another proposal before the start of the regular season in an attempt to show the fans that they at least made an effort to negotiate before real games were lost.
Right now, fans don't care who is making the proposals, they just want to see some meaningful progress, and as much of the 2012-13 season as possible.
Which side will you blame if the regular season doesn't start on time?
If the two sides don't schedule any meetings very soon, the first month of regular season games will likely be canceled by Thursday or Friday.
The good news to come out of the weekend was that the two sides are willing to keep talking, which is different than in 2004 when the owners and players didn't have too many meetings from September until December.
It's possible that if the two sides meet again this week, and make some progress, that the season could be pushed back to late October, and a full 82-game schedule could still be used.
However, for that to happen, or for the regular season to start on time, some results on the core economic issues must be made as soon as possible.
Nicholas Goss is an NHL Lead Writer at Bleacher Report. He was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston. Follow him on Twitter.