The NHL lockout rolled on to Day 112 on Sunday morning, with the NHL and NHLPA still meeting in a hotel in New York City as a deal finally seems within reach. Several outstanding issues still remain, however, and while the marathon talks continue, a deal is still likely at least a day or so away.
The two sides met for more than 12 straight hours on Saturday, when the first face-to-face meetings since Thursday brought renewed optimism that a deal was close. Reports of movement on several key issues had many thinking a deal was nearly imminent. The truth, meanwhile, was that while there was progress being made, there were still major hurdles to get past in order for a deal to be reached.
As Michael Russo of the Star Tribune writes, there were multiple reports Saturday evening that if a deal could be reached in time, the NHL had already come up with a 50-game schedule. This would allow a bit more flexible schedule that would not be as division-heavy and provide more balance throughout each conference.
Distrust has reached a point in negotiations where it is most likely a deal will not be reached until all terms are agreed upon in writing. Both the NHL and NHLPA have felt as if the other side has been dishonest at times in the negotiations and are hesitant to make a commitment based on a promise.