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Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Thornton: 'Trying to be optimistic'

By James Murphy

Will Tuesday’s players-and-owners-only meeting result in any progress in the NHL lockout?

"I honestly don't know what I am feeling," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton told ESPNBoston.com on Tuesday. "At this point it can't hurt right? And I am always trying to be optimistic but it's really hard based on the way things are going. (The owners) don't seem to want to budge or give in on anything and it's really frustrating. But I am trying to keep my hopes up. I'll tell you one thing though. At this point if it doesn't work today, we could really be looking at a canceled season."

A group of 18 NHL players (none of them Bruins) and six owners (including the Bruins’ Jeremy Jacobs) were scheduled to meet in New York Tuesday in the latest attempt to jumpstart the stalemated talks between the two sides.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman proposed the idea of a player-and-owners-only meeting after mediation talks broke off late last week.

"(The owners) basically just keep saying 'thanks but no thanks' and don't really give our proposals and ideas a chance," Thornton said. "At this point what more can we do?"

In other Bruins news, winger Daniel Paille has become the 12th Bruins player to sign overseas. He inked a deal to play for Ilves Tampere in Finland’s SM-Liiga league. Goalie Tuukka Rask, meanwhile, has return from the Czech Republic, where he was playing for Plzen HC. Rask finished his stint in the Czech League with a 6-2-0 record, 1.85 GAA and .936 save percentage.