The NHL and NHLPA met for over eight hours in New York City on Tuesday, and according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN, they will resume CBA talks on Wednesday prior to the league's Board of Governors meeting.
Both sides will meeting again in morning, Daly said. With same group on each side— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) December 5, 2012
Steve Fehr and Bill Daly holding joint press conference although won't say much. Fehr called it maybe best day so far in this process— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) December 5, 2012
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly also addressed the willingness from both sides to finish the job (via Dan Rosen of NHL.com):
Daly: "I think everybody is working hard. I think everybody wants to get a deal done, so I think that's encouraging."— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) December 5, 2012
With Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr meeting the media side-by-side for the first time in this process, plus the fact that no one (players included) from either side criticized the other group in any way, fans should be optimistic about the direction this lockout may be headed in.
Both sides seem to have come to the realization that the time to make a deal is now, and with much potential revenue gone for good with the cancellation of the regular-season games thus far, along with the cancellation of 2013 All-Star Game, the period of rhetoric and negotiation in bad faith had to end.
The interesting part of these latest meetings was the fact that commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr were not present in the discussions between the two sides.
How will the talks change if these two men return to the bargaining table? We'll have to wait and see.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Post-Dispatch shared the general reaction of players regarding the recent progress:
Texts from players say tonight has been very productive. Wouldn't say they sense a pending deal, but sense of progress/mutual understanding.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) December 5, 2012
To be clear: these would be players NOT sitting in on meeting, but getting updates from afar. Take it as you will.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) December 5, 2012
Wednesday will be a major day in this lockout. Not only will talks resume, the first Board of Governors meeting since the lockout started will also take place.
These meetings often include representatives from all 30 teams, and we can expect that owners not present at Tuesday's talks will be brought up to speed.
Since labor negotiations have stalled several times over the last few weeks, it's been hard for fans to be very optimistic lately. Hopefully this time is different and both sides are finally ready to put ego and emotion aside for the good of the game.
With more talks and an important BoG meeting on the agenda for Wednesday, we should learn more about the state of this NHL lockout very soon.
Check back to Bleacher Report's NHL page on Wednesday for updates on the lockout as they become available.