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Sides in NHL labor rift meet all day with mediator

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) — A federal mediator held over 12 hours of separate talks with the NHL and the players’ association Friday before stopping for the night with a promise to get going again in the morning.

The sides remained apart all day, buffered by the presence of federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh, who shuttled back and forth between the hotel where the union is working, and the league office. He started at 10 a.m. EST and wrapped up discussions for the day shortly before 11 p.m.

Similar talks were scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

It still isn’t known when the league and the union will get back together at the bargaining table. Neither side provided details, but the all-day discussions at least provided a glimmer of hope that perhaps progress was being made from afar.

That would be a welcome change after things cooled during an unproductive Thursday.

After marathon talks that lasted deep into Wednesday night, the sides have remained apart with the exception of two smaller meetings Thursday.

The lockout reached its 111th day Friday, and the sides have only one week to reach a deal on a collective bargaining agreement that would allow for a 48-game hockey season — the minimum the NHL has said it will play.

Commissioner Gary Bettman set a Jan. 11 deadline so the season can begin eight days later.

The players could be looking to wait until Saturday night to Login to read more

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