After nearly nine hours of productive meetings between a group of six NHL owners and a group of 18 NHL players, NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly appeared side-by-side at a microphone in New York City. The sides never appear next to each other. That's news in and of itself.
Fehr and Daly didn't say much, other than "this might be the best day we've had" in CBA negotiations and that there's "still a lot to be done." Nor did they take questions from the approximately 1 billion media members who had sat in the Westin Times Square lobby for the entire day. But that might be a good thing. Tight-lipped, as we've learned in this process over the last few months, is certainly better than rhetoric and posturing.
Steve Fehr: Might be the best day we've had, still a lot of work to be done.— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) December 5, 2012
Daly: I think everyone wants to get a deal done, so that's encouraging. Will talk again tomorrow morning. Same group.— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) December 5, 2012
Daly: We're going to work hard to try to get a deal.— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) December 5, 2012
The sides say they will meet again early on Wednesday morning. It will be the same group of owners and players.
On the players side: Craig Adams, David Backes, Mike Cammalleri, Sidney Crosby, B.J. Crombeen, Mathieu Darche, Shane Doan, Ron Hainsey, Shawn Horcoff, Jamal Mayers, Manny Malhotra, Andy McDonald, Ryan Miller, George Parros, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Jonathan Toews and Kevin Westgarth.
On the owners side: Jeremy Jacobs (Boston Bruins), N. Murray Edwards (Calgary Flames), Ted Leonsis (Washington Capitals), Craig Leipold (Minnesota Wild), Ron Burkle (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto Maple Leafs).
The NHL's Board of Governors meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. in Manhattan on Wednesday. Commissioner Gary Bettman, who along with NHLPA chief Donald Fehr did not take part in Tuesday's lengthy meeting, is expected to meet with the media at 1 p.m. following the BoG meeting. That press conference was scheduled prior to the progress of Tuesday's meeting, but it will be interesting to see what changes between now and then.