The return to mediation on Wednesday didn't seem to do a whole lot of good for the NHL lockout and the ongoing CBA talks. In fact, it didn't seem to do any good whatsoever.
The meetings came to a close without any further plans, but that doesn't mean the sides might not get right back on the horse on Thursday. From Darren Dreger of TSN:
Mediator will speak with PA this morning. If he concludes a deal is close he will recommend meeting. Flip-side...neg returns to square 1.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 13, 2012
Based on where everything stands, I'm going to guess there will not be a meeting on Thursday. If all reports are to be believed and the NHL's stance hasn't changed on its most recent offer and the take-it-or-leave-it approach, then I wouldn't think a deal is imminent.
The league has articulated that point.
NHL has delivered the message it is pretty much a take it or leave it, however, that doesn't mean the league won't trade on certain things.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 13, 2012
Yup, the point has been made crystal clear. So the deal has to be taken as is, but the league might alter a thing or two on that deal. Sounds like pretty typical double-speak. Remember, the league has plenty of lawyers on its side.
At this point, let's just hurry up and get to the drop-dead date, which the NHL reportedly hasn't even considered yet. That seems like the only thing that will get results here.