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NHL Lockout 2012: Finally, signs of progress

NHL players and owners are apparently finally beginning to make some progress toward ending the 2012 NHL Lockout.

Henrtik Lundqvist and Sidney Crosby
Henrtik Lundqvist and Sidney Crosby
Bruce Bennett

Is there finally an end in sight to the 2012 NHL Lockout? Owners and players negotiated Tuesday and are heading back to the table Wednesday with the mood appearing to have shifted somewhat.

Just hours after breaking up on what was the most positive day of the NHL lockout, owners and players are back at the bargaining table to try to get closer to a deal to rescue the hockey season.

The sides met for nearly eight hours on Tuesday in a pair of sessions that included big and smaller groups and didn't break for the night until midnight. They are reconvening Wednesday morning before the NHL Board of Governors are scheduled to get together around 11 a.m. The possibility exists that bargaining will resume following that meeting.

Joe Fortunato of SB Nation's New York Rangers website, Blueshirt Banter, is feeling better about the chance for at least a partial season than he has in some time.

No, yesterday didn't yeild any negativity, but it also hasn't yielded a deal ... yet. And that right there is the difference. The mood of these talks has changed a little, the two sides made real progress yesterday and now the tone shifts to the final stretch of these negotiations.

Now, that's not to say Wednesday's meetings can't blow everything sky high. While Tuesday was fantastic, almost everyone in this circle agrees that Wednesday's meeting is the key to all of this. Bridging the final gaps, getting a deal done.

Over at Lighthouse Hockey, the mood isn't quite as optimistic.

I remain a skeptic about the effect of the meeting itself. I remain a believer that the NHL is waiting until it's decided it's had enough of not playing hockey before it ends the lockout that it alone initiated and it alone can end.

We will see what happens later on Wednesday, but for the first time in a while it seems there might be reason for hockey fans to have some hope.

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