According to multiple reports, the NHL and NHLPA have agreed to return to the bargaining table this Friday in New York City. This will be the first official meeting between the two sides since September 12th, which was three days prior to Gary Bettman locking out the players. The talks on Friday are expected to be focused on non-economic issues, which is a different approach than originally thought.
Neither side was able to gain much ground on the core-economics, so they have decided to take a different route in order to find common ground on some of the other issues. It was reported that both sides were $1 billion apart on their latest proposals. Top executives from the NHL and NHLPA met on Monday to discuss last year's hockey related revenue and finalize escrow payments for the players.
This upcoming weekend could serve as a crucial point in these negotiations, in order to prevent a prolonged lockout. Back in 2004-2005 both sides went three months without talking, which isn't nearly as bad as it is right now. Hopefully we'll have some brighter news coming Friday evening.