2012 NHL Lockout: NHL, NHLPA meetings continue late into Saturday night

Bruce Bennett

The NHL and NHLPA are meeting on Saturday -- a meeting that continues late into the small hours of the night.

Update, as of 11:45 p.m. CT: Both sides are apparently still talking.

The NHL and NHLPA continue to participate in a meeting that has carried well into the night on Saturday and could carry over into Sunday morning, after a tumultuous week in the ongoing CBA negotiations.

The NHL, represented by deputy commissioner Bill Daly, and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr, reportedly scheduled a special meeting between themselves for Saturday afternoon at an undisclosed location. According to several reports on Twitter, that meeting has continue well into the night and as of this publication that meeting continues.

Reportedly, Fehr and Daly had enjoyed constructive conversations throughout the week and leading into the weekend and this could be the first sign that talks may actually begin to progress in a positive fashion. The fact they they are talking at all is a good sign, although this is far from the official and serious negotiations needed to get an actual deal in place.

The NHL canceled the 2013 Winter Classic on Friday in what many thought was the final blow before the league canceled the entire season. A truncated season is still well within reach, however, as the cancellation of the Winter Classic was necessitated by logistics moreso than the possibility of the season being in closer danger of complete cancellation.

Friday also brought the news that the owners are willing to take on the financial burden of the "make whole" provision of the NHL's latest offer, which would have basically had future players' share responsible for ensuring the value of current contracts. This provision was likely the biggest thorn in getting a deal done, although there are considerable issues between both sides that need to be worked out before a deal is close to being reached.

Is this a good sign? We've gotten our hopes up a few times already the past few weeks only to have those hopes destroyed by subsequent news. The fact that the two sides are talking -- and that details of this meeting are not being leaked to the media -- is certainly a positive sign. The only way that will be determined, however, is if actual negotiations begin on finalizing a deal.

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