NHL lockout 2012: Owners, players still at an impasse

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“I’m hoping that some of (the players’) pessimism is almost an intentional pessimism because certainly that’s not where our mindset is,” Daly said. “We don’t want an extended work stoppage, we don’t want to miss any regular-season games. That’s going to be our mindset until we have to cancel some.”

There was one piece of good news for the players Monday. Daly indicated they will likely end up receiving almost all of the 8.5 percent in salary that was held back from them last season in escrow - guaranteeing at least one decent payday next month.

They are due to receive the first of 13 pay checks for the upcoming season on Oct. 15, but that appears less and less likely with each day that passes without meaningful negotiations.

Still, Daly believes the sides are “light years” ahead of where they found themselves in 2004, when three months went by after the beginning of the lockout before talks started.

“We’ve been talking within the same framework, we’ve had a lot of discussions about a lot of ground in a lot of the other areas we need to,” he said. “But obviously we still have a financial divide we have to find out how to bridge.”

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