“It’s pretty tough to be optimistic,” defenseman Andrew Ference said. “I think at the beginning of the summer, there were a lot of great talks. We were hopeful that could continue and we could see some progress. Obviously this next week or two is pretty big.”
The group included Ference, Patrice Bergeron, Chris Bourque, Johnny Boychuk, Anton Khudobin, David Krejci, Torey Krug, Milan Lucic, Daniel Paille, Rich Peverley, Tuukka Rask, Tyler Seguin, Dennis Seidenberg, and Shawn Thornton.
The players plan to continue their informal skates this week. Some of them will attend NHLPA meetings in New York later this week.
As of now, the players are adamant about not giving back money to the owners.
“I didn’t negotiate my contract,” Thornton said, “thinking they’d take 20 percent off the top.”