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No full talks in NHL labor fight

January 4, 2013 • National News


FILE – In this Dec. 6, 2012, file photo, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, right, and deputy commissioner Bill Daly speak to reporters in New York. The NHL made a new proposal to the players’ association, hoping to spark talks to end the long lockout and save the hockey season. Daly said Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, the league made its offer Thursday and was waiting for a response. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Any momentum gained from a long night of negotiations between the NHL and the players’ association seemed to have been lost Thursday when the sides remained mostly apart.

A meeting that Commissioner Gary Bettman said would begin at 10 a.m. EST didn’t start until several hours later, and then ended quickly.

That one hour of talks centered on the reporting of hockey-related revenues by teams, and both sides signing off on the figures at the end of the fiscal year. The problem was resolved.

An NHL spokesman announced shortly before 9 p.m. that federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh was still working with the sides, but they would not get back to the bargaining table before Friday morning.

The players’ association didn’t immediately comment.

The key issues that are still threatening the hockey season weren’t addressed early in the day, but a small group of players and other union staff returned to the NHL office shortly before 6 p.m., to hold another meeting regarding the contentious pension plan. That wrapped up about two hours later.

Union head Donald Fehr didn’t take part in either of the two sessions Thursday.

The players’ association held a conference call at 5 p.m. to discuss starting another vote among union membership that would give the executive board the power to invoke a disclaimer of interest and dissolve the union.

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