NHL News

Should We Believe Steve Burton?

WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton attracted much attention Monday by claiming significant progress had been made in negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA, which could mean an end to the lockout “as early as tomorrow [Tuesday] or Wednesday.”

Today is Day 79 of the NHL lockout. A select group of owners and players are scheduled to meet tomorrow in New York. My sources tell me that an unannounced meeting was held today with a high-ranking official from each side and significant progress was made towards salvaging the hockey season. It’s possible that an announcement could come as early as tomorrow or Wednesday.

It is worth noting that Burton, though not exactly a “hockey insider,” did break the news of Phil Kessel’s cancer diagnosis back in 2006. In spite of this, the race to discredit Burton has already begun, though it is uncertain whether this is genuine, journalistic peer review or an attempt to save face after potentially blowing the single biggest story of the year.

Sports Illustrated‘s Sarah Kwak:

Rogers Sportsnet‘s Michael Grange:

CSNNE.com‘s Joe Haggarty:

Whether the writers’ motives are noble or otherwise, the clock’s ticking on Burton’s prophecy. Desperate fans seized on the slightest scrap of good news from a decently reputable source, and if Burton is wrong, all his credibility as a “hockey insider” would quickly evaporate. As much as I would like to believe Burton, not one hockey writer or inside source has corroborated Burton’s report.  Until someone else (other than Lenny Clarke) jumps on, stay skeptical.

But then again…

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