Mediator calls for NHL talks Thursday morning
The latest bargaining session aimed at creating a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NHL Players' Association concluded late Wednesday night. CBC-TV in Canada reported that both sides say progress was made but a lot of work remains.
The biggest revelation Wednesday was the presence of mediator Scot Beckenbaugh. ESPN.com reported that a mediator has been involved in talks all week. Twice before federal mediators had been involved in the talks, only to leave frustrated.
On Wednesday night, the NHL responded to the union's latest counter proposal at the league's New York headquarters.
The league and the players have exchanged proposals five times while attempting to reach an agreement on a new CBA Talks have heated up during the past week as the two sides work to avert the loss of the entire season.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said this week that Jan. 11 is the deadline for a deal to salvage the season. If a deal is made soon, there is hope that a 48-game season would start by Jan. 19.
Contract term limits, variances on individual contracts, player pensions and salary-cap compliance rules remain the sticking points.
Players apparently have compromised on the length of the collective-bargaining agreement, saying they would accept the league's a shorter CBA.
The NHL lockout began Sept. 16 and has wiped out the first three months of the season and the All-Star game.
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