Via Travis Hughes:
"We believe we are paying the players more than we should be," commissioner Gary Bettman told the media following the day's meetings. Bettman also attempted to shift the blame to the players, saying that the NHL's side was ready to begin talks "in January" while Fehr took time to meet with players in preparation for negotiations.
As we've said, and will continue to say, blaming Bettman is the biggest mistake you can make. This is a directive from the owners. Note the "We," not "I," in the quote above.
Any optimism about the lockout not happening is basically dead at this point. The death march to September 15 begins.