The NHL and the NHLPA met twice on Friday, once from 10 a.m. to Noon and then again at 4 p.m., a meeting which bled into the early evening in New York. The two sides were only negotiating about non-core economic issues, but they still managed to find some middle ground on player safety and drug testing setting a positive tone for the negotiations.
After the second meeting both sides talked about how they were pleased that they were able to agree on some things, but there were also the familiar subtle pokes attacking the other side.
The good news? The NHL wants to talk about core economics. The bad news? The NHLPA apparently didn't want to talk about the core economics.
There might be a few reasons behind this, and we've discussed some of them here. Maybe the NHLPA wants to see which side gets the better end of the little things to see who might take a smaller cut of the percentages.
Here's the thing: At leas the two sides agreed on something. They came to some agreements, found some mutual ground and are slated to meet through Sunday. With what we've seen the past two weeks -- with no meetings -- this has to be seen as a major positive, even if it's a baby step in the grand scheme of things.
Maybe the two sides will see a reason to go into the core economics today or Sunday. Maybe the two sides will decide to talk about the core economics if they continue to make headway with the little things.
At this point, the two sides are further along than they were yesterday.