Pessimism reigns over today’s meeting between NHL owners & players as a means of ending the NHL lockout.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: David Ebner suggests today’s meeting between NHL owners & players might be the last chance to end the lockout and save the season. Though some sources hope the addition of new voices and perspective might help move the stalled CBA negotiations along, there’s also a feeling the two sides are so deeply entrenched compromise might not be possible.

Will Crosby & Toews speak with NHL owners today?

TSN.CA: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will be among a group of players in New York for the talks, but it remains to be seen if they’ll be among the six to be selected to participate in today’s discussion with the owners.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller will also be among the group of players in New York for the talks, and hopes he gets a chance to speak directly to them. Miller has been a vocal critic of the owners during this lockout, suggesting they’re unwilling to negotiate a fair deal. “I can’t make sense of what the owners truly need because they want everything,” the Buffalo Sabres’ goaltender wrote today during an exchange of text messages. “That is why it seems like the finish line is moving.”

NORTH JERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross explains why NY Rangers owner James Dolan was too “anti-Gary Bettman” to earn an invite to today’s talks.

CBC.CA: Dan Oldfield lists seven steps to end the NHL lockout. It remains to be seen if the NHL & NHLPA will consider any of them.

TORONTO STAR: Buzz Hargrove, former head of the Canadian Autoworkers Union and former NHLPA ombudsman, considers it a mistake by the players to meet with the owners today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If you interested in my take on today’s meeting you can find it in my latest Soapbox update. I truly hope this meeting will result in movement toward a swift resolution of this labor standoff, but like most observers, I don’t believe it will.

CSNNE.COM: A report by WBZ-TV in Boston last night suggesting the NHL lockout could be over by Wednesday was denied by several sources, including NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report created a brief buzz on Twitter last night before it was eventually dismissed by Daly and others. 

ESPN.COM: Scott Burnside and Craig Custance offer up their views on decertification, which could be the next step by the NHLPA if there’s no progress soon in NHL CBA negotiations.

SBA.GOV: The US Small Business Administration is prepared to counsel small businesses currently on ice because of the NHL lockout.