Hope springs eternal

TY PILSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 2:16 PM ET

There was a glimmer of hope yesterday the National Lacrosse League may have a season after all.

Or was there?

Multiple sources confirmed to the Sun discussions are ongoing between the NLL and the Professional Lacrosse Players' Association (PLPA) regarding a new CBA.

However, Calgary Roughnecks owner Brad Banister, when reached for comment last night, was surprised by those comments.

"We're talking with them right now, but, as far as I know, it's for 2009," said Banister. "I'd like to say there's a chance for this year, but teams have already lost (arena) dates."

Yesterday's news of talks, first reported by Inside Lacrosse's website over the weekend, comes a week after the league cancelled the upcoming campaign, saying the union and league were too far apart on a new agreement after the previous CBA expired July 31.

When a league-imposed Oct. 16 deadline came and went, the NLL played its hand and pulled the plug on the season.

When the announcement to cancel was made, NLL commissioner Jim Jennings instructed teams to release their arena dates and said there was little chance the season could be saved.

One source yesterday said "there's a long way to go in order to get a deal done."

While teams have released their arena dates, it was suggested the season could go on with a modified or completely new schedule.

However, the longer the talks drag on without a deal, the greater the chance any remaining open arena dates could fill up.

While the league's official comment right now is simply no comment, Calgary native Geoff Snider -- who plays for the Philadelphia Wings -- did go on the record.

Snider said he is encouraged the two sides are talking again.

"I feel there's been a lot of smoke and mirrors and posturing by both sides," said Snider. "But the fact everyone is talking is good.

"I'm very hopeful (something can get worked out). We want to play, but we want to go in the right direction (with a new CBA)."

While reports have said the PLPA is fractured, with many members angry at their union executive and player reps over the lockout, Snider said -- in his opinion -- that's not the case.

He said the union is unified with two main goals: Getting a fair deal and getting back to playing lacrosse.

"It does no one any good not to have a season," said Snider, who recently moved back to Calgary. "We want to play. We want to help the league grow."


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