LOCKOUT: Day 81 – Is it over, really? Is it over?!


April 25, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins fans cheers as the team takes the ice before the start of the first period in game seven of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of the lockout I posted on how the Canadian courts could very likely stop the lockout.  The court is Alberta has rejected the player’s attempt to re-classify its status. (Essentially, the Canadian version of the de-certification play.) Tomorrow was supposed to be the day that the Quebec courts were going to hear the same argument. However, a postponement to that case has been requested. That request was made by BOTH sides.  Why? Progress, real meaningful progress.

Last night the two sides engaged in a marathon negotiation session that lasted past midnight. The end of the session was capped off with a extremely rare joint press conference. That conference was fronted by the NHL’s Bill Daly, and the NHLPA’s Stever Fehr. These two men have (in my humble opinion) the hidden voices of reason slowly trying to get the two sides closer together on a collective bargaining agreement. Both sides issued proposals, both sides had a give and take and are inching toward an actual deal.

A certain shout-out has to be given to Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sid the Kid’s diplomatic tact appears to be as sharp as his skills on the ice.

The owners also had their meeting today, and it appears rather than discussing when the cut off date will be to kill the season, it was about how to respond to the latest rounds of talks sans Fehr and Bettman. The owners involved in the current negotiation returned to the table with the players after the meeting was adjourned.  This is either an amazingly complicated set up designed to toy with our emotions, or it is really honest-to-God progress.

“We are pleased with the process that is ongoing, and out of respect for that process, I don’t have anything else to say.” offered NHL’s Bettman.  Bettman was on and off the podium in under a minute. (Now that’s progress we can all get behind!) This just feels too good. They say Christmas is the time for miracles. I’d say the hockey fans are due for one.