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'Do I see a (possible) deal? I do,' says Jets' Ladd

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WINNIPEG -- A league deadline of Thursday is looming for a full NHL season but with no collective bargaining agreement talks schedule, one wonders how possible a solution might be.

None of that is extinguishing some optimism among locked-out Winnipeg Jets and assorted NHL players skating regularly at the MTS Iceplex.

"I thought it (last week) should have been progress," said Jets captain Andrew Ladd after this morning's workout. "It looked like both sides were kind of making some sacrifices to get a deal done and for whatever reason, they decided they didn't want to continue with those talks. Disappointing from that standpoint so hopefully we can find a way to kickstart this and get something done.

"Do I see a (possible) deal? I do. I think there's something there. I think it's going to take a little bit of give on their side as well. I don't really see why they're so hesitant to find some middle ground there. So yeah, I think we as a group there is something there and hopefully they come back to the table."

"Optimism" was the exact work offered by Winnipeg product Colin Wilson of the Nashville Predators, who was skating with his NHLPA brethren at the Iceplex for the first time today.

"I'm fairly optimistic," said the 23-year-old centre. "In the media, people are saying we're pretty far apart but I think there's a little bit of wiggle room there and I think our union's doing a great job. (NHLPA executive director Don) Fehr, he's very impressive. I'm optimistic at this point."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

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