NHL Lockout: Negotiations to Resume in Morning, Progress Has Been Made

Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor IJanuary 3, 2013

CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  Executive director Donald Fehr of the Major League Baseball Association talks with reporters before the Tampa Bay Rays play against the Philadelphia Phillies February 28, 2009 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

It was shortly after 1 a.m. ET in New York City when the NHL lockout negotiations ceased for the night, but progress has been made, according to numerous reports.

The biggest news was that the NHLPA did not file a disclaimer of interest, but if progress is not made in the subsequent days, they will revote on the matter.

PA did not file disclaimer but will in near future if a deal isn't reached.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 3, 2013

Both the NHL and NHLPA are also going to meet Thursday at 10 a.m. ET with a federal mediator, and meaningful talks can continue.

The NHLPA made a big step in the owners' direction during the latest round of negotiations by making a huge concession.

NHLPA decided to make an important concession. They don't ask for a cap on escrow anymore.

— Renaud Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) January 3, 2013

Bettman said talks resume 10 AM; and there was NO talk of "disclaimer of interest" and that union has never said that in negotiations

— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) January 3, 2013

This is a nice concession by the NHLPA, and something that should be viewed as a good faith negotiation tactic.

With meetings scheduled for 10 a.m. ET, here is the latest information courtesy of Chris Johnston.

A major issue still to be resolved in NHL talks is the 2013-14 salary cap. League looking for $60M, NHLPA asking for $65M.

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 3, 2013

Gary Bettman says the sides had "philosophical discussions" about why certain issues are important to each side.

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 3, 2013

Right now the biggest issue is the salary cap for 2012-13, and the difference between where the NHL is and where the NHLPA wants the cap to be.

It would be logical to assume that both sides could meet in the middle at $62.5M, but that would be too easy considering how long it took both sides to agree on a 50-50 split of H.R.R.

However, it should be noted that a deal could be close because the NHLPA did not file the disclaimer of interest. Although they can file it at a later date, there should be some optimism moving into the talks scheduled for Thursday.

If both sides can meet in the middle with the salary cap, it stands to reason that the other outstanding issues such as pensions can be solved by the end of the week.

Gary Bettman's deadline of having a CBA by Jan. 11 is in eight days. A deal needs to be struck by then for a season to start on Jan. 19. It is promising that both sides are engaging in marathon series of negotiations, but right now the only thing fans can do is wait.

Progress is slowly being made, but things are starting to look up for a 2013 NHL season.