It was six and a half hours of meeting through a mediator on Wednesday between the NHL and NHLPA with little to show for it.
The response of one player involved in the negotiations, who was asked if there was any progress made on Wednesday, pretty much summed it up.
"Not really," he said, on his way home from New Jersey last night.
He wasn't sticking around for the possibility of more meetings, which doesn't leave a lot of optimism about a deal in the immediate future.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said there's currently no offer on the table, although it's quite possible that the league let the mediator know that their last offer was an option if the players were ready to accept.
All we know for sure from Daly's comments is that an entire day was spent together and the two sides were never even in the same room.
It's too bad, because the timing of a deal could have really worked in the favor of a couple players. It still could.
On Wednesday, the Hamburg Freezers announced that Jamie Benn had left the team for personal issues, with Stars beat writer Mike Heika suggesting that it could be as simple as he wants to be home for Christmas. Without a new CBA, he's expected to return to Germany in January.
With both players in North America, the timing of a CBA couldn't be better because as soon as the lockout is concluded, attention will immediately turn to them and a few others like P.K. Subban, Ryan O'Reilly and Dmitry Kulikov. Unlike many players who were part of the rush to sign before the expiration of the last CBA, they opted to wait. They remain restricted free agents who will have to get a new deal done in the short period of time between the conclusion of CBA talks and the start of a season.
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