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nhl lockout

There Is Hope, It Seems, for Today’s NHL Lockout Negotiations

Commissioner Gary Bettman of the National Hockey League leaves the podium after addressing the media at Crowne Plaza Times Square on September 13, 2012 in New York City. Recent negotiations updates have been pretty rough. Is there reason for hope now?

It's hard to know how seriously to take signs of progress in lockout negotiations. As we learned during the tortuous, torturous NBA lockout, it's not uncommon for one side or the other of a labor struggle to project hopefulness so as to demonize the opposition when things fall through. That said, there are mostly hopeful notions emanating from the NHL labor talks in New York this week.

League officials, some owners, and a bunch of players (Sidney Crosby included) sat down Tuesday afternoon at a secret location in New York and didn't disperse until almost 11 p.m. Afterwards, the only words said to media were vague, hopeful, and free of rhetoric (that's a good thing). If and when a deal is near, these will be the signs, so there's at least a shade of a reason for optimism. Just don't get your hopes up on anything until a deal becomes official. These lockouts have a way of teasing progress, only to reveal a massive divide.

Everyone will meet again today, and they'll probably take well into the night to separate, at which point we'll hopefully get more signs of hope, or perhaps something better.

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Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images