There is some optimism surrounding the NHL labor talks. First, last week, reports surfaced that the players association asked their leadership to be more active in negotiating. Then, the deputies Steve Fehr and Bill Daly met for hours on Saturday. And now, formal labor negotiations are scheduled to continue Tuesday in New York.
Amid the news, although not necessarily related to it, Thomas Vanek has left his team in Austria and returned to Buffalo. That league is on their international break, and it's his option to leave at this point. He is not obligated to return, regardless of the NHL labor outcome.
"I get asked if I’ll return after the international break all the time," Vanek explained on his blog at thomasvanek.at. "That may well be, but certainly not right after the break.
"I want to wait (and see) how the negotiations between league and PA are going. It seems as if things are going forward a bit."
On Saturday, the owners reportedly agreed to pick up some of the cost of a "make whole" proposal that would protect player salaries as the revenue split falls to 50-50. Right now, that is said to be the key to getting a deal done.