It has been a rough and emotional couple months for a fan in the NHL world . It has been filled with a mixed bag of feelings due to the emotional rollecestor that the NHL and the NHLPA have taken us all on. There have been countless number of times I have heard the phrase “a deal could be as good as done”, but yet we still sit here without a season.
In the recent talks, the NHL and NHLPA met for consecutive days handing out numerous proposals; and then all of the sudden the two sides stopped meeting face to face. “Doom and gloom” came over the hockey world once again as it appeared to be another “set back” in negotiations, which is very well what could of happened. Following those meetings federal mediators were then used to run back and forth between both parties to try and shrink the gap on the issues that remained. These past few days, where mediators were used as marathon runners, seemed to have paid off . Earlier this afternoon the mediators proposed that the sides had enough common grounds to reconvene bargaining and possibly hammer out a deal.
Since then, reports have been flying in from everywhere that a deal is all but imminent within the next day or two. In fact, there was even an article posted on StarTribune.com by Michael Russo reporting that the Minnesota Wild have decided to pull star prospect Mikael Granlund from their AHL affiliate’s game this evening to prevent injury in case NHL camp become on the horizon. Russo also got a great quote from Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly “The parties have been meeting since approximately 12:45 pm today,” Daly emailed the Star Tribune just before 7 p.m. CT. “Slow progress is being made. We hope to continue meeting to resolve as many open issues as we possibly can in pursuit of an agreement.” At the same time there have also been reports saying do not get too high, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
So where does this leave us? Pretty much the exact same place we were this whole lockout, which is not knowing anything that is really going on. Is it a positive that the mediators felt there was enough worth salvaging to continue mediation? is it a positive that the mediators felt there was enough common ground to begin bargaining again? is it a positive that after mediation the two sides have been meeting since the afternoon? Yes these are all positives but the truth is we still do not know 100% what is going on. And we are not going to until these two sides put their differences aside and bring the worlds greatest sport back to us.
Take all this for what it is, and interpret as you see fit.
Could this very well be the end of the lockout? Only time will tell, for the sake of our sport I hope it is.
Would like to take this time to also congratulate team USA on winning gold at the World Juniors in Ufa, well deserved.
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