That all-day meeting between Bill Daly and Steve Fehr this past Saturday? The hope was that it would yield a return to formal negotiations this week and that's exactly what's going to happen.
On Tuesday, the NHL and NHLPA will get together for the first time in almost three weeks for a meeting in New York. Some, like Detroit's Daniel Cleary, are feeling a bit of optimism surrounding the negotiations right now and hopefully there will be more reason to feel that way after Tuesday.
Then again, not everybody is full of optimism. One unnamed player told Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star that he's still in a wait-and-see frame of mind.
Even if there is something on paper and good news to report, we might not hear a lot about it. In perhaps as good a sign as we've seen thus far, the sides won't be spending much time if any talking to the media after the negotiations. Maybe the talks through the public will stop, which is typically a sign that actual progress is being made.
There has been too much back-and-forth in the media with some veiled (others more blatant) shots at the opposition. The less sniping we see in the media, the sooner we might see some actual sniping on the ice.
In this process it feels like we have to take baby steps. The good news is that they are at least going to try walking again.