There was some hope that the NHL and union could resume the now-dormant negotiations after Christmas. The key word there is "was."
That's because as of now there still are no meetings schedule and at this point there's no indication any are even on the horizon. That tends to be the result when the two sides aren't even communicating; it's kind of hard to schedule any meetings that way.
No meeting schedule yet between the NHL and the NHLPA. Source told me the NHLPA is waiting on a respond from the league to resume talks.— Renaud Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) December 26, 2012
So let's get this straight: The NHL has canceled all games through Jan. 14 and it is widely accepted and all but confirmed by the NHL that the next time games are going to be cut it will be the entire season, not just another two weeks. That leaves just a couple of weeks to try and close the gap between the two sides and yet they aren't even scheduling any meetings after not talking for two weeks now. Sounds about right for this lockout, honestly.
It seems more and more likely -- and it was already likely when this began -- that a deal won't be reached until the final hours, if one is reached at all. It is going to take the biggest threat of all for the sides to back off their stances. We'll just have to wait longer, apparently.
Maybe Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr and Co. can make a New Year's Resolution to get a deal done and actually stick to it.