Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller is optimistic that the NHL and NHL Players Association are closer than they have been to resolving the collective bargaining dispute that currently has the players locked out. Miller believes this despite unsuccessful talks on Thursday, which included the rejection of three separate proposals from the NHLPA by the NHL owners.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman classified the day as a step backwards in the process, saying how discouraging it was. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr echoed the disappointment and questioned whether the league actually wanted to make a deal.
While the outlook as of this time may be bleak, Miller believes that cooler heads will prevail and a fair deal for both sides can be struck, Josh via Josh Rimer's Twitter Stream:
"Yesterday's rejection of 3 proposals is disappointing. But in the last week I feel like both sides contributed to negotiations and are closer to making a deal than they were before. That is improvement I am going to remain optimistic because I know there is a solution that will satisfy owners, players & fans within reach. I am hoping that both sides are willing to keep working for it!"
As of this time, there are no future negotiations scheduled and the league is expected to announce the cancelation of all regular season games through Nov. 1. However, they are reportedly still optimistic that a condensed 82-game schedule could be played starting Nov. 2 (dependent, of course, on the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement).