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NHL talks end for day, no hint of progress

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Talks between the NHL and NHLPA have ended for the day, with no hint of progress.

The sides never met face to face today in New Jersey, but rather used the services of mediators Scot L. Beckenbaugh and John Sweeney.

The positions each way were reported to be exactly the same as last Thursday, when three days of meetings ended abruptly and emotionally in New York without a deal.

When today's session ended, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly made the following statement: "We met for about six and a half hours today with the assistance of federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh. The parties were never actually in the same room together. We did several different caucus meeting rooms. There is nothing new to report.

"We don’t have a conclusion to the process. The players are doing something tonight and they are going to get back to mediator Beckenbaugh tonight and he will get back to us tonight."

NHL players have been locked out since Sept. 15. Regular-season games are canceled through Dec. 30 and the window is closing for there to be a season, given that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said last week he can't contemplate less than 48 games for any shortened season that might be played.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

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