NHL, NHLPA meet Friday, more talks planned

The Sports Xchange
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The NHL and NHLPA met Friday in Toronto and plan to speak again this weekend, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.com via email.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and union counsel Steve Fehr also attended the meeting.

Daly told ESPN there was nothing more to report.

The meeting comes one day after the league canceled the opening two weeks of the regular season. At issue is a disagreement regarding how to split $3 billion in hockey-related revenues.

In announcing the cancellation, Daly issued the following statement:

"We were extremely disappointed to have to make today's announcement. The game deserves better, the fans deserve better and the people who derive income from their connection to the NHL deserve better.

"We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams and good for our fans.

"This is not about 'winning' or 'losing' a negotiation. This is about finding a solution that preserves the long-term health and stability of the League and the game.

"We are committed to getting this done."

A total of 82 regular-season games were cancelled, a necessary step in the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL.

"The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners," NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said in a statement Thursday. "If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue.

"A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort," he added. "For nearly 20 years, the owners have elected to lock out the players in an effort to secure massive concessions. Nevertheless, the players remain committed to playing hockey while the parties work to reach a deal that is fair for both sides. We hope we will soon have a willing negotiating partner."

Though the sides have met in recent days, they haven't gotten closer to settling core economic issues. No new discussions are planned.

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