A quick update as we slow way, way down the closer to the finish line we come.
The NHL and NHLPA continue to meet at the union's hotel in New York City on Saturday night, nearly eight hours after the first face-to-face meeting in two days began. Cautious optimism remains that a deal is within reach although there are are still some fine print issues that must be hammered out for a deal to be concluded, even in principle.
According to Tom Gulitti of The Record, the NHLPA has agreed to a 10-year CBA term with an opt-out clause for both sides after eight years. Among other contested issues there are reports that the NHL has agreed to move off the proposed $60 million cap for 2013-14, while the players have apparently moved down to $64.3 million.
Player pensions continue to be an contested issue as well, although one that has been resolved a few times over the past week. While it appears that both sides are so close to a deal one should be reached relative quickly, such distrust reigns in each corner that neither side may say a deal is completely until ink has been signed to paper.
So, while various reports continue to spring up that a "deal is done" there is nothing to be finalized until both the NHL and NHLPA have everything in writing. Most of the reports out there stem from the fact that the two sides are so close it appears a deal is imminent, yet there appears to be indications the the NHLPA has slowed things down once more in an attempt to ensure a methodical and careful end to this mess.
While slowing things down has backfired in the past, it appears the NHL and NHLPA are dead set on getting a deal done sooner than later.