Despite tweets by a handful of former NHL players earlier today that the lockout had ended, there were still a "few significant issues that need resolution," a source close to negotiations told me an hour ago.
The good news is both the NHL (Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and a few lawyers) and the NHLPA (the Fehr Brothers, Don and Steve, lawyers and a number of players) are still trying to hammer it out.
"The parties have been meeting since approximately 12:45 pm today," Daly emailed the Star Tribune just before 7 p.m. CT. "Slow progress is being made. We hope to continue meeting to resolve as many open issues as we possibly can in pursuit of an agreement."
Update as of 10:37 PM ET: Parties are still meeting. Good dialogue and give and take, still work to be done.
I am told there is good reason for my favorite phrase, cautious optimism. I am also told that the "motivation on both sides is that we could get a couple of more games in if we finish this weekend."
But again, nothing is done until both sides say the deal is done and a new collective bargaining agreement is ratified.
Originally, the league said a deal must be done by Jan. 11 for training camp to start Jan. 12 and a 48-game season Jan. 19.
But the league and players would love to get in a 50- or 52-game schedule in at minimum. As of now, players have missed six paychecks and the league has lost, according to Bettman, $20 million a day in revenue.
As of 5 p.m. CT, the player vote concluded to give Don Fehr the authorization to file a disclaimer of interest and dissolve the union. He hasn't pulled that trigger with talks gaining traction.
More to come (and more info on the previous blog).
BREAKING #mnwild news: Mikael Granlund pulled from #Aeros lineup after warmups; Wild doesn't want to risk injury in case #nhl camp on horizon. GM Chuck Fletcher said the Wild came close to doing so last night. Granlund is slotted as the No. 2 Wild center in camp.