We have seen the NHL season be cancelled up until November 30th and the Winter Classic nixed as well, to say these are frustrating times for a die-hard hockey fan would be a severe understatement.
In efforts to try and salvage whatever is left of an NHL season, the NHL and NHLPA resumed “official” talks today. The sides were said to be negotiating for roughly 7 and a half hours today; the talks came to an end just a few minutes ago (which someone on Twitter pointed out, is more time spent then the last three months of bargaining combined). This can be a good sign of things to come and optimism might be starting to creep back up.
Looking back to before talks ever really started on a new CBA, it was predicted by the majority that the NHL would lock out up until Thanksgiving in America. If the lockout were to end now, the season would likely start on December 1st; not to far away from Thanksgiving eh? We as spectators and die-hard fans got severely caught up in the fact that the chance to save and 82 game schedule, which was leaked by the NHL, was a possibility (even though more realistically it probably was not). In all honesty, I would be willing to bet it was a PR scheme, as much of what has been released to the public during these negotiations has been.
The fact of the matter is, the course that the NHL and NHLPA are on now was originally the course everyone thought it would go on. Negations seem to have taken a trip to the serious side of things and bargaining seems to be headed forward instead of backwards. We saw the NHL leave a meeting within ten minutes before, the fact that they stayed in the room for roughly eight hours today has to mean good things. The two sides are reportedly meeting again tomorrow, but I still caution people to remain guarded in their optimism. We have all seen how these negotiations have progressed, but maybe, just maybe they are taking everyone’s advice- to lock themselves in a room for an extended period of time and hammer out a deal.
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