Six owners and 18 players got together yesterday without the likes of Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr for some #realtalk last night, homie. The idea was originally suggested by Gary Bettman, hoping that removing the lead representatives and actually putting those groups in the same room without middle men would allow for a sticky situation to get un-stuck.

Remarkably – despite much skepticism on my part - it seems as though real progress was actually made. According to Frank Seravelli of the Philadelphia Daily News, the two sides met for eight hours yesterday into the early morning.

The players were represented by Michael Cammalleri, Sidney Crosby, B.J. Crombeen, Craig Adams, David Backes, Mathieu Darche, Martin St. Louis, Jonathan Toews, Shane Doan, Ron Hainsey, Shawn Horcoff, Jamal Mayers, Manny Malhotra, Andy McDonald, Ryan Miller, George Parros, Brad Richards, and Kevin Westgarth, while the owners were represented by Jeremy Jacobs (Boston Bruins), Ronald Burkle (Pittsburgh Penguins), Mark Chipman (Winnipeg Jets), Jeffery Vinik (Tampa Bay Lightning), Murray Edwards (Calgary Flames) and Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto Maple Leafs).

The success of the talks were highlighted by a joint(!) press conference given by Steve Fehr and Bill Daly at around 2 a.m.

From Fehr:

“We had a long day. We thought it was a constructive day. We had a good dialogue. In some ways I’d say it might be the best day we’ve had, which isn’t too overly optimistic of a picture. There is still a lot of work to do and a lot to be done. We will be back at it tomorrow morning.”

How about that lump of positivity!

And in a pleasant turn of events, Bill Daly actually agreed with him.

“I appreciate the efforts of the players. Everybody is working hard. I think everybody wants to get a deal done, so that’s encouraging. We look forward to hopefully making more progress tomorrow.

“Hopefully, we’ll have more to update you on tomorrow. We are going forward with our board meeting. Hopefully be back at it after that, as well.”

So that’s where we’re at today, folks. When the league’s most skeptical people sound like that, you’re allowed to have hope that this can come to an end sooner than later. I believe it was Nick Cotsonika who said that both parties finally see an “exit strategy.”

The buzz on the interwebz is that Sidney Crosby has played a big role in moving things in the right direction, possibly in helping to broker a deal behind the scenes prior to last night’s meetings.

Rob Rossi wrote the following over at

Over the past few weeks, Crosby, Burkle and Lemieux have privately discussed plans to bridge the gap between players and owners. The sources said all three had grown frustrated with the lack of progress.

Crosby and Burkle flew to New York together Monday. Burkle lives in suburban Los Angeles. Crosby’s Los Angeles-based agent, Pat Brisson, also was on the flight, the sources said.

We’ll have more on all this later today, and will provide updates after the players and owners get together for another kick at the can.





*According to John Shannon, the meeting is under way. Started at the very specific time of 9:17.



* He had originally planned on speaking to the media at one o’clock this afternoon.