Regardless of what is said on Wednesday morning, the two sides will part to report to their constituents.
At the NHL's headquarters, league commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly will preside over 2 days of meetings with all 30 appointed team governors in attendance.
Bettman does not need an official approval vote from the Board of Governors to lock out players on Saturday if a new collective bargaining agreement is not hashed out by 11:59 p.m., though this summer's agonizing proceedings will be No. 1 on the order of business.
Flyers chairman Ed Snider, one of the league's most powerful governors, is expected to attend the meetings with team president Peter Luukko. Snider has refrained from publicly commenting on the labor negotiations, since any comment could invoke a $1 million fine.
Just a few blocks away from league headquarters, Fehr will retreat to meet with more than 250 players, who have flown in from around the world in a sign of solidarity. A handful of Flyers are expected to attend, including former player union representative Scott Hartnell.
Undoubtedly, whenever Fehr takes the podium this week to update the media, he will be flanked by some of the game's top stars, including Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.
So, will actual progress be made between the sides, or will the players be simply parading around New York in a Fehr-sponsored dog and pony show? It depends on whether each side is willing to make a further concession to get the ball rolling.
At this point, that sounds like a real longshot. The core issue is the division of hockey related revenue. The owners would like to reduce the players' share from the current 57 percent to 46 percent, based on their proposal made on Aug. 28.
The players, reviewing the league's record-setting revenue of $3.3 billion, want every dollar from current contracts to be honored - as the NFL and NBA players were assured when their revenue shares were decreased last year to 48.5 and 49 percent, respectively.
In addition, the players were still proposing a 6-year CBA with a 50-50 revenue split in the first 3 years before returning to the current 57 percent in Year 4. That doesn't fly with the owners.
The revenue split is just the beginning. After that, there are still a bevy of issues - contract term limits, salary cap structure and transition, entry-level deals for young players, and even care for injured and concussed alumni members - that need to be sorted out before training camps open.
Neither side is denying that it would take a minor miracle to avoid the first lockout since 2004 on Saturday.
Just this week, players in Quebec, Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia announced they are reviewing ways to challenge a potential lockout's legality. Since labor law is provincial in Canada, and the union is not certified in each province and the players have no right to strike, the players may not be legally locked out.
Daly told the Canadian Press that the provincial challenges by the NHLPA were "a joke." These negotiations have only hit the tip of the iceberg in nastiness.
Starting on Saturday, it will all be for real. After Saturday, players can begin to sign contracts to play overseas. They will no longer be able to communicate with team officials - including the coaching staff and management - and they will not be able to use team facilities. Training camps were slated to open on Sept. 21; the regular season was set to start on Oct. 11.
Progress or posturing? A relatively normal start to the season is depending on that answer. We'll find out this week.
More than 10 players participated in the 2012 Flyers Celebrity Golf Invitational on Monday at Trump National Golf Club in Pine Hill, N.J. Proceeds of the tournament benefitted Ed Snider's Youth Hockey Foundation . . . A 90-minute documentary on concussions in sports, entitled "Head Games," which features former Flyers captain Keith Primeau and NBC Sports' Bob Costas, premieres on Sept. 21 in New York and in Los Angeles.
Contact Frank Seravalli at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DNFlyers. Read his blog, Frequent Flyers, at www.philly.com/frequentflyers.