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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Boston Reporter Claims End Of Lockout Near

Steve Burton of the CBS affiliate in Boston says the NHL and NHLPA are much closer to an agreement than most suspect.

Christian Petersen

If there's one thing NHL fans should have learned during the lockout, it's that every piece of breaking news involving huge developments or setbacks should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

But it's so very tempting to get excited about the promise of good news, and the fine folks at WBZ Boston offered just that late Monday afternoon.

Sources tell WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton that an unannounced meeting was held Monday with a high-ranking official from each side, and significant progress was made toward salvaging the hockey season. It’s possible an announcement could come as soon as tomorrow or Wednesday.

This didn't confine itself to an internet story, either. Burton ran with the story on the televised newscasts as well.

How much credence do I put in this story? Not a lot. Burton is certainly getting this story from somewhere (and as Greg Wyshynski suggests on Puck Daddy, a meeting with a high-ranking official from each side could easily indicate Bill Daly and Steve Fehr). But Daly quickly shot down the idea that a deal is imminent.

Still, it's difficult to completely ignore a report like this, especially when a reporter is willing to put himself out there this much. Wrong or right (and the Dallas Stars fan in me sure hopes he's right), Burton isn't trying to play it safe with his reporting. That leads me to think he has a solid source, even if that source may be overly optimistic.

Also in today's links, Brett Ritchie is making a name for himself among the Canadian hockey brass, Jamie Benn may be having a wee bit too much fun in Europe and how not to impress your coach, general manager, teammates or especially your goalie.

  • While I certainly hope the end of the lockout is almost upon us, the only thing that's certain at this point is the two sides will meet again today. The six owners have been chosen, but the six players are still too be determined this morning. []
  • As the lockout drags on, the U.S. Small Business Association is stepping in to offer advice to small businesses affected by the lack of NHL games. []
  • Jamie Benn... I just... I don't even know. [@Razor5Hole]
  • While Benn has been, well, enjoying himself in Europe, Brett Ritchie has been tearing up the OHL on this side of the Atlantic. By any account, he had one heck of a November. [Stars Inside Edge]
  • That fabulous play earned him an invite to the Canadian selection camp for the World Junior Hockey championship. The roster for the camp was announced Monday and should be narrowed down to the final group soon. [Orangeville Banner]
  • I have to admit, the WJC is not my favorite time of year. The tournament itself is great hockey and a lot of fun, but the amount of hot air that surrounds it, particularly from the Canada-or-bust faction of the hockey world, drives me absolutely bonkers. And as this column correctly points out, it creates a no-win type of situation for the Canadian players, who we often forget can't legally drink here in the States just yet. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Somewhere deep in my heart, I know the reason for this lockout is that the NHL isn't scared of losing its fanbase. They know the sheeple like me will return when they do. And I sometimes feel a little conflicted about that - why should I value something so highly when they clearly don't value me? But this article from our friends over at Stanley Cup of Chowder puts into words all the things I feel like I'd lose if I gave up the NHL, things that go far beyond the sport itself. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
  • Playing beer-league hockey has been an eye-opening experience when it comes to just how good NHL players are. And it also makes light up a little bit inside when a professional does something stupid that I've done any number of times, like whiff on an open shot or trip over the blue line. So while a large part of me feels sorry for the guys involved in the own goals on this list, another part smiles a big because I think anyone who plays rec hockey has been there at least once. [Puck Daddy]
  • I know I posted a Teddy Bear Toss video just a few times ago, but the 2012 version from the Calgary Hitmen is too epic to pass up.