At least NHL and Players Association representatives are talking, beyond Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow's visits to the golf course -- which is not always a great forum for communication. ("You're away, Bob." "No, you are, Gary." "What? Bob, are you blind?" "What's it matter, Gary? You'll just make up the numbers on the scorecard, anyway!")
But the beginning of formal negotiations, while both overdue and a step forward, shouldn't fool anyone.