WILMINGTON — Two-hundred-eighty-three players left this week’s NHLPA meetings in New York without any promising news about the start of the season, but they came away from the meetings a heck of a lot smarter.
It isn’t exactly easy to understand the nuts and bolts of the league’s labor dispute as the owners and NHLPA try to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement, so players who entered the meetings as confused as the next guy at least left them a bit educated.
“I was taking notes,” Tyler Seguin  said on Friday. “Obviously there’s a lot of stuff I’m not going to understand. We do the meetings and obviously I’m not going to get into much detail, but then we split up into our teams and talk about it amongst ourselves and our questions. It was good. I learned a lot. Going into that, I don’t think I knew too much about HRR [hockey-related revenue] or anything like that and all the percentages and statistics, but I know a lot more about it now.”
Dennis Seidenberg  said that while the meetings were beneficial given the unity the players showed and the things they learned, he doesn’t see any more reason for optimism now than he did before.
“The feeling is it hasn’t really changed much,” the defenseman said. “We were hoping that going to New York, we’d get some news in a positive way, but the main thing we did was get educated on what’s going on and what our proposal looks like and how we’re going forward from here. Other than that, not much has changed.”
Said Gregory Campbell : “I think it’s important to go to those meetings and definitely get the knowledge on what’s going on. As players, it’s really important to be informed. It’s one thing to hear it on the phone or hear it from somebody else, but to actually go there and really be informed — this is our livelihood, so we really have to make sure that we’re all on the same page.”
The owners are set to lock the players out at midnight on Saturday. A vote led by Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs yielded unanimous agreement for the move on Thursday.
“Going to New York was probably a good idea at this point in time, just because with this date looming, I guess it seems like the inevitable that there will be a lockout,” Campbell said. “We all have to be in the right frame of mind if and when this happens.”