Unexpected progress in yesterday’s meeting between NHL owners and players has given rise to “cautious optimism” for a season-saving CBA.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly (L) & NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr announce progress in last night’s owners-players meeting.

CANADIAN PRESS (VIA GLOBAL REGINA): A marathon meeting yesterday between NHL owners and players concluded with NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr calling it “the best day” of the lockout thus far, while NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly (standing side-by-side with Fehr) acknowledged both sides are working hard toward a resolution. Daly singled out the 18 players who attended the meeting for praise for their efforts. Neither would discuss what was talked about in the meeting, but it is believed both sides were willing to make more concessions toward a deal.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports it was Pittsburgh Penguins reclusive owner Ron Burkle and Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (who traveled to the meeting together) who appear responsible for the traction gained in this meeting. LeBrun also reported NHL Chief Operation Officer John Collins denied a rumor claiming he was leaving the NHL because of his frustration over the lockout. Sarah Goldstein, meanwhile, published a list of the eighteen players and six owners involved in yesterday’s talks, which are expected to continue early Wednesday morning.

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Rob Rossi reports the Penguins “are sending everyone over the boards to try to end the NHL lockout”. In addition to Burkle and Crosby, Mario Lemieux and team CEO David Morehouse are also in NY City. The latter pair will also attend today’s NHL Board of Governors meeting with Burkle.

PHILLY.COM: reported some additional details regarding last night’s meeting. Among them: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA director Donald Fehr did not participate in the negotiations, and the two sides are expected to reconvene this morning prior to the Board of Governors meeting (scheduled for 11 AM).

NATIONAL POST: Michael Traikos noted there were no players from the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs at yesterday’s talks, even though the owners of those respective clubs participated in the negotiations.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: cited a “tweet” from Sportsnet claiming Bettman will address the media today at approximately 1 PM ET, following the conclusions of the Board of Governors meeting. The presser was believed already scheduled prior to yesterday’s owners-players meeting.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks warns us that there’s been moments of “cautious optimism” before in this NHL lockout which ultimately came to nothing.

 OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch wonders if those members of the Board of Governors who aren’t happy over this lockout will have the opportunity to voice their concerns to Bettman during today’s meeting.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I was among those pessimistic yesterday’s owners-players meeting would resolve anything, so color me pleasantly surprised by what emerged from those talks. Still, Brooks is right to warn us that the progress made is fragile and, depending upon what comes out of today’s meeting between the two sides and the BoG meeting, our hopes could again be dashed. That being said, however, there’s a genuine sense both sides want to get a deal done. If they do, it’s been suggested a 56-game schedule, commencing in late-December, would be possible. We’re not there yet, folks, and what emerges from today’s meetings will be critical in determining if we’ll have a season starting later this month, or if the standoff between the two sides widens. Here’s hoping for the former!

LA PRESSE: Marc Antoine Godin reports the NHL is rumored to be considering the addition of two more teams by 2015-16, with one in Canada (either Quebec City or Southern Ontario) and the other possibly in Seattle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Relocation, not expansion!

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings owner Mike Illich’s Olympia Development group is pitching its plans for a new downtown arena in Detroit worth $650 million.