from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
"I think it's been different in a lot of respects," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.com in an interview Wednesday. "At least with respect to a lot of the issues that need to be discussed and worked out, we ploughed a lot of ground in that area and made some progress. I think we have some tentative agreement to some things, we have teed up issues in other areas -- so from that perspective we had a good summer of negotiation. Each side was also able to express where they are on the economics of the deal, some of the system issues, those still need to be resolved. There hasn't been a lot of movement on those issues. And they are the critical issues to setting off all the dominos. We're focused on those issues exclusively right now."
While they remain far apart on the key economic issues -- the percentage the players will get in the new CBA -- at least both sides used the summer sessions to get ahead in other areas.
"My approach is really very simple: you get up every day, you try to find a way to work through the issues, you organize the group of things you want to talk about so that they have some nexus with one another to the extent that's possible," NHLPA executive director Don Fehr told ESPN.com in a separate interview Wednesday. "If you can have things discussed in smaller groups without everybody being involved in every meeting, sometimes that can be helpful. And you follow through 'em, you have your discussions and sometimes they go well, sometimes not, sometimes they get heated, but so what, you got to do that. You get it done. To the extent that you can get through that kind of stuff, that's helpful."