The NHL's labor negotiations are still going on at a New York hotel, but Penguins player representative Craig Adams had to leave a short time ago because of a prior commitment.
And while he was guarded in his remarks, Adams seemed cautiously optimistic -- expect to hear that term a lot in coming days -- that the league and NHL Players' Association are making progress in their talks for a new collective bargaining agreement.
"Yesterday was a good day," Adams said. "I don't know if I want to say we feel like we made tangible progress, but maybe we opened the door to have some progress."
He also confirmed that, as has been reported all across North America, having Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle get involved in the talks had a positive impact on them.
"Without gong too much into what's going on inside the room, I can definitely say I was glad to have Ron there," he said.
On the players' side, Penguins center Sidney Crosby is emerging as a pivotal figure in the talks.
Adams, again choosing his words carefully, did not dispute that.
"I'm not going to get into it, other than the fact that he's been very involved in the process throughout," Adams said. "Obviously, he continues to stay involved and engaged. The other players are glad to have him in there."
Regardless of the individuals involves and the prominence of their roles, the bottom line is finding enough common ground to finalize a deal that will bring the NHL back to life.
And while Adams' tone sounded encouraged, he took a fairly neutral stance when asked if he was more optimistic that a settlement is possible than he was a couple of days ago.
"I don't know," he said. "I think we're certainly at the point where we've had enough ups-and-downs that I think I'm kind of done with that.
"I'm done trying to be optimistic or pessimistic or predict where (the talks) are going. I think I'll reserve judgment on that."
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