For the second consecutive day NHL owners and players were involved in lengthy talks in an effort to end the 80-plus day lockout.
Wednesday's talks featured multiple meetings throughout the day and evening as players and owners spoke off and on and even reportedly exchanged proposals in the afternoon following the NHL board of governors meeting.
The talks finally ended shortly after 1 A.M. ET on Thursday morning. Winnpeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey spoke on behalf of the players and said that the two sides had some candid discussions and plan on meeting again on Thursday.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly represented the NHL and echoed Hainey's comments about candid discussions and said there remain some critical, open issues and that the league expects to hear back from the players on Thursday.
The night featured some bizarre moments that included just about everything from NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr handing out free pizza to the media, to all eyes being on the NHL podium that was set up for an update on the talks. The latter of course sparked a national trend of #PodiumWatch on Twitter, and even a parody Twitter account that featured things like this.
I've clearly been located way too far to the southwest, but Bettman refuses to let them move me.— NHL Podium (@NHLPodium) December 6, 2012
Welcome to Day 82 of the NHL lockout.
There hasn't been much information to come out of the talks as they went past the midnight hour other than the report from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star that games on Christmas Day is something that's "on the table."
For the past four decades the NHL has not played games on Christmas eve or Christmas day and, under the last CBA, did not even allow teams to travel on those days. The NHL last played on Christmas day during the 1971 season (via Ted Starkey).