NHL, Union mediation expected to resume Friday morning

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Thursday began with hope and ended without a whole lot of obvious progress. The good news is that the mediation process is expected resume at 10 a.m. ET on Friday, according to the Bergen Record.

Initially, the two sides are expected to remain in separate locations while communicating with federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh. That might eventually lead to full-scale negotiations, but nothing is set in stone.

A small group of players did meet with the league tonight to discuss player pensions, but there weren’t any major negotiating sessions Thursday.

Unfortunately, the two biggest stories of the day were probably the NHLPA’s decision to hold a new vote on the disclaimer of interest issue and the union’s response to the NHL’s class action complaint.

That kind of news might discourage many hockey fans, but it shouldn’t be taken as a sign that all hope is lost. Neither move rules out the possibly of a 2013 season and they don’t necessarily reflect the NHLPA’s opinion of the current talks.

We’ll have to wait and see, but one way or another, we will probably know the fate of the season in the near future.