It doesn't seem like anything's ever going to get done when it comes to compromise to the NHL's CBA, but four days straight of talks - and the presence of David Backes - should make fans feel a little better.
David Backes has continued to work with Donald Fehr and other members of the NHLPA towards the resolution of the current lockout. What's the holdup? Apparently it takes the NHL a long time to look up what the word "negotiation" is. After several offers to the players' union that were basically designed for them to reject, the league and the NHLPA have sat down for four days straight to discuss some sort of resolution.
The big sticking point is the "make whole" resolution. As originally written, the plan called for the players to make up the difference in the contracts, not the owners. Now the owners are starting to accept some responsibility for this, which is why there's actually been some ground covered in recent talks.
Or, maybe the cancellation of the Winter Classic and the loss of huge amounts of money had something to do with it.
Regardless of the reason, these talks signal the first time the NHL and NHLPA have really seriously had face-to-face talk time. Considering that the expiration of the CBA in September was something that everyone knew about in advance, it's sad that it's taken the loss of two months of hockey and the Winter Classic to get people to realize that it was time to actually start working, let alone to start making offers that made sense.