NEW YORK (AP) -- At least they are still talking.
That seemed to be the best thing that could be said on Wednesday after the NHL and the players' association met for about five hours on the first of at least two straight days of talks in an effort to work out a deal to end the monthlong lockout.
Although it has been a week since the NHL called off the first two weeks of the regular season, that sting will be felt full force on Thursday when what should have been opening day goes by the wayside without a puck hitting the ice.
The sides met twice on Wednesday and will get back to the bargaining table on Thursday. If things go well, or if the scheduled work can't be completed, there could be another day of talks Friday.
Any bit of optimism at this point would be embraced.
"I think we're making progress in a number of the areas that were discussed, which include health and safety, drug testing issues, medical care," NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr said. "They were good discussions. It'...