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NHL Lockout 2013: NHL & NHLPA Meet As Optimism Suddenly Builds

The union and the league appear close to a deal, as the federal mediator feels the NHL and NHLPA are close enough on key issues to warrant a face to face meeting.

Ronald Martinez

The NHL and NHLPA are currently meeting face to face for the first time since Thursday, when talks broke down over perceived indescretions by the league when it came to one of the offers. Since that day, when only player pensions were discussed, the league and union have communicated solely through federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh -- who suddenly looks like the hero this lockout desperately needed.

With the two sides meeting now, at his request, optimism has built to a level we have yet to see. Several of the most pessimistic in the media are suddenly showing optimism that a deal may be close and that while things could still certainly fall apart in a hurry, a deal that would save this season appears to be close to happening.

While a deal being reached today is certainly possible but not likely, the two sides certainly have reason to be close to a deal by the end of the afternoon. At 5 p.m. CT the player vote to authorize the executive board to file a disclaimer of interest is complete and most are saying that the players will not vote to disclaim once more and not follow through.

There have been pushes from both sides to get hockey on the ice sooner than later, with the NHL already having set a Jan. 11 deadline for a deal or the season is canceled.

As we have all offseason, we'll keep DBD updated with the latest in these CBA negotiations. Let's hope today brings more good new.