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UPDATE: Baby steps, but in the right direction. As discussed by ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun, the mood was one of cautious optimism after officials from the NHL, Players' Association, International Olympic Committee, and the International Ice Hockey Federation met Friday in New York.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr: "Today's discussion was constructive. While there is a lot of work still to be done, I remain cautiously optimistic."
This may take a while yet. According to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun, a decision on NHL participation in the 2014 Winter Olympics may not come until late spring, despite Friday's scheduled meeting involving all parties (the league, NHL Players' Association, International Olympic Committee, International Ice Hockey Federation).
Pierre LeBrunDecision could come next month
"... Sources say an agreement is not expected at Friday's meeting, that there's more work to be done. All sides hope to have an agreement in place sometime in May, but there's no guarantee. Travel, insurance and hospitality for players' and owners' families remain issues, sources told ESPN.com ..."
***"We had a good working session and were able to discuss all of the issues involved in the possibility of having NHL Players participate in the 2014 Sochi Games," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said via statement. "The parties are committed to continuing to work through the process, but there remains work to be done on all sides."