Read: Pittsburgh Owner Ron Burkle Could/Should Be A Big Player In This

9:21PM: The Penguins praised the inclusion of their owner in the talks today.

11:56AM: Pierre LeBrun writes at that Burkle is a key to the process and writes, “Burkle, I’m told, has strongly wanted to get involved of late and I believe he’s going into this meeting with the intent of doing everything he can to close the gap between sides. And I don’t think Jacobs’ presence in the room means a newbie like Burkle is going to take any marching orders from him. So, I can only take it as a positive that Burkle, with his impressive track record in his real-life business world, is taking a stab at this.”

9:46AM: In the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Rob Rossi writes about Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle and how he is taking part in the meeting tomorrow with the NHLPA.

Rossi notes that Burkle is “close” with Sidney Crosby and reports are that Crosby will be in the meeting tomorrow.

He writes that Burkle is considered to be a “master deal marker” and has experience working with unions in his native California.

Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell praised Burkle for his toughness as a negotiator and the role he took in getting the Consol Energy center built,”He is prepared, keeps his cool and understands that there has to be give from both sides to get a deal done. That’s what I saw from him during the arena talks.”