NHL labor negotiations will continue

Both sides silent after long session NHL LABOR

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If no news really is good news, things just might be looking up in the NHL.

Officials of the NHL and its Players' Association met in New York for more than five hours Wednesday, just a day after spending more than seven hours negotiating.

The parties tackled two issues of substance, revenue-sharing and "Make Whole" plans that involve honoring existing player contracts, Wednesday and are expected to deal with them again when the talks resume today.

Neither party, however, would confirm any of that.

Aside from getting out word that the talks would pick up again today, the league and the union declined to say anything of substance Wednesday night. Not a word about exactly what ground was covered or how much, if any, progress was made.

A statement put out by the league quoted deputy commissioner Bill Daly as saying, "The NHL's negotiating committee met with representatives of the NHLPA for approximately 5 1/2 hours today. Meetings are scheduled to resume tomorrow. We do not intend to comment on the substance or subject matter of today's negotiations."

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr countered with a statement that said, "The NHLPA and the NHL met today to discuss many of the key issues. We look forward to resuming talks tomorrow."

There does not seem to be a consensus on what has been accomplished during the past two days, other than the obvious plus of having the talks continue.

Some with a stake in the negotiations seem confident that genuine traction toward agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement is starting to be generated, while others contend there only has been the most modest of progress.

And the people who would know best simply weren't saying.

It's worth noting, however, that Daly reportedly will not make a previously scheduled trip to Ottawa to speak to a Parliamentary committee on gambling today, opting instead to stay in New York and take part in Day 3 of this round of negotiations.

Craig Adams, the Penguins' player representative, and teammate Sidney Crosby flew to New York for the one Tuesday, but did not stay for the one Wednesday because of harsh weather that was moving into that area. They weren't the only ones to bail for that reason: Thirteen players participated Tuesday, but only eight were involved Wednesday.

The NHL's previous CBA expired Sept. 15, and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman locked out the players the next day.

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Dave Molinari: Dmolinari@Post-Gazette.com or Twitter @MolinariPG.


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