The NHL and NHLPA have been brought back to the table for a critical face-to-face meeting this afternoon in New York by federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh.

Beckenbaugh has been shuttling back and forth the past two days between the NHL's offices and the NHLPA's hotel as he tries to bridge the gap. The process lasted 12 hours yesterday and began this morning until the mediator brought the two together at 1:15 ET.

This has caused an immense amount of optimism in the Twittersphere.

The New York Post's Larry Brooks just reported that he's told that the league is willing to move off its $60 million 2013-14 cap figure to somewhere in the middle of the NHLPA's $65 million desire.

There has been reports of progress with the complex pension issue. The league has previously been looking for six-year max deals (seven if you're re-signing your own player), the union wants eight. This doesn't seem too difficult to bridge.

Previously, it has been reported that they’ve both basically agreed on a 10-year CBA, the league will do the two 2013-14 per team compliance buyouts the union wants, the NHL has changed the variance from an original 5 percent wish to 30 percent, revenue sharing is agreed upon.

Looming large is that Executive Director will be able to dissolve the NHLPA by filing a disclaimer of interest as soon as 5 p.m. CT.

So while there have been early reports of traction and optimism, we've seen that before. Don't get your hopes too up until there's a deal in principle and a vote to ratify.

Is that coming? We will see.

More to come.

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