Today's meeting is over. Two sides will meet again tomorrow.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 8, 2012
League commissioner Gary Bettman talked briefly to the media following the CBA talks (via Dan Rosen of NHL.com on Twitter):
We have work to do, my hope is that we can achieve the goal of getting a long term, fair agreement in place as quickly as possible. Everyday that passes I think is critical for the game and for our fans. Collective bargaining is a process and it has peaks and valleys and ebbs and flows, and it is very tough to handicap.
I'm told the NHLPA made offers yesterday on both revenue sharing and players' share/make whole. They expect a response from NHL today.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 8, 2012
The NHL did in fact respond to NHLPA proposals today.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 8, 2012
I'm told that today's meetings with the #NHLPA were "constructive." Progress is being made slowly. Internal meetings for both tonight— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) November 8, 2012
Was told that six teams would receive huge chunk of rev share under NHLPA system: Phoenix, NY Isles, Columbus, Florida, Nashville, Carolina— James Mirtle (@mirtle) November 8, 2012
The objective of rev-share from PA is to help struggling markets produce better teams so they will then generate more $$$$ w/higher gates.— Larry Brooks(@NYP_Brooksie) November 8, 2012
NHLPA's offered concept to NHL on Make Whole would see players go down to 50-50 of HRR by Year 3. So there's a phase-in element to it— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) November 8, 2012
The goods news is that the NHL decided to work with the players' proposals, which they were not willing to do on Oct. 18 when the NHLPA made three offers.
Even if there's not a ton of progress being made, the fact that the two sides are willing to meet to find solutions to their differences is a positive sign.
One significant issue that still remains is the NHLPA's desire to not have their share of hockey-related revenue (HRR) be reduced from 57 percent to 50 percent in the first season of the new agreement.
The owners have been adamant about the HRR split being 50-50 in year one, so there's still a considerable gap to close on this issue.
Both sides also realize that revenue sharing needs to improve, so even though there's more work to do on figuring out the actual amount of money to be included in the program moving forward (likely to be between $200-260 million per year), this shouldn't be a topic of discussion that either side will lose a season for.
Fans should be pleased that enough progress is being made for both sides to believe that there are reasons to keep negotiating.
Friday will be the fourth straight day of CBA talks, but at some point, real progress has to be made if this lockout is going to end any time soon. The two sides aren't close, but it only takes one meeting to find a breakthrough.
Follow Nicholas Goss on Twitter: @NicholasGoss35