NHL Lockout 2012: Sides agree to meet for third straight day on Thursday

The two sides have met for around 13 hours the past two days and are scheduled to meet again on Thursday. Is that a sign of progress?

The two sides have met for 13 hours the past two days. You didn't read that wrong. The two sides have actually sat in the negotiating room, looked each other in the eye, and, you know, negotiated. The other huge part of this: They're talking about the big issues; revenue sharing, splitting the pie, the "Make Whole" provision and contractual issues.

Here's the thing, despite the two sides talking for so long, that doesn't mean that progress is guaranteed. There have been reports that the two sides made major progress (those reports leaked after the weekend and after Tuesday's eight-hour long meeting), then reports that they actually made no progress (leaked Wednesday morning before the day's meetings) and now reports that the two sides are making progress but it's a little slow going (Wednesday after the meeting).

But they are going to meet again Thursday. That's huge, especially when they are planning on talking about the big things yet again.

It's also huge that these are the only tweets you're seing after the two sides meet:

The NHL will not be meeting with the media tonight. I don't believe the NHLPA will either. Negotiations to resume tomorrow.

Neither NHL nor NHLPA meeting with media.

Notice a trend here? Neither side taking the fight to the media is a really big deal for a lot of reasons, but mainly because it insinuates there is at least some progress.

Generally the two sides have met with the media after meetings to talk about their issues with one another. To this point in the talks that hasn't happened, something that's been noted as a good sign by many in the know.

Ready for me to bring the mood down (sort of)? The thought now is today is a massive day in the talks and we'll know the true direction of the talks soon.

Or maybe there will be more silence. Which would be good, too.

Lets just hope we're nearing the end.