NHL lockout: Talks back on, but go for naught

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The NHL's labor talks got going again Wednesday, but that doesn't mean they went anywhere.

Federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh met with -- and shuttled between -- league officials and representatives of the NHL Players' Association in Iselin, N.J., for 6 1/2 hours, but his efforts yielded no positive movement.

"It's good, in the sense we're here," longtime NHL center Brendan Morrison told reporters at the site of the meeting. "And bad in the sense there is no progress."

There was no immediate word on when the sides will meet again or whether there will be further mediation.

Although NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told media members that there was not a proposal on the table, Morrison said Beckenbaugh suggested to the NHLPA that the offer the league extended a week ago -- then pulled when talks broke off -- was in play.

It's more likely, however, that the mediator was dealing in a hypothetical situation.

Whatever the case, it didn't matter.

The NHLPA tried to revise some of the terms put forth in that offer a week ago, leading to the abrupt end of talks, and obviously wasn't inclined to accept it six days later, regardless of whether it was officially available.

"It wasn't much of a decision," Morrison told the reporters.

Thirteen players, one of them Penguins player representative Craig Adams, took part Wednesday. No owners were involved.

NHL players have been locked out since Sept. 16 while the sides have been unable to work out the details of a new collective bargaining agreement.

The notion of an 82-game regular season in 2012-13 passed long ago. If an agreement is reached in time to save any portion of the season, it will be a severely scaled-back one.

"I thought the gap would be closed much quicker, but it hasn't come to fruition yet," Morrison said.

"So we have to keep working."

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


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