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NHL, Union to continue marathon CBA session

Thursday, 12.06.2012 / 2:01 AM / News

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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NHL, Union to continue marathon CBA session
The NHL and NHLPA held a second straight day of marathon negotiating sessions Wednesday. The sides met on an off throughout the day, totalling more than eight hours of negotiations.

NEW YORK -- After a second consecutive day of marathon negotiating, representatives from both the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players' Association indicated that they plan to meet again Thursday in pursuit of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Neither side confirmed when the resumption of negotiations would occur Thursday.

The NHLPA said it plans to hold an internal meeting prior to reconvening with the NHL owners.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey, who is a member of the NHLPA's negotiating committee, spoke for their respective sides after the negotiating session adjourned at roughly 1 a.m. Thursday.

"We obviously had a number of meetings today over many hours," Daly said. "Had good, candid dialogue on a lot of issues. There continue to be some critical open issues between the two parties and we understand the Union should be getting back to us [Thursday] on some of those issues."

The negotiations Wednesday bled into Thursday and were broken up only in the evening by a two-hour dinner break. The sides also met for approximately eight hours Tuesday, with a two-hour dinner break in between, and claimed progress in the process.

Throughout the day Wednesday, the owners and players left each other to meet internally with several other members of their negotiating teams -- including NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for the owners and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr for the players.

"We had a series of meetings today, very candid discussion, and we plan on meeting again [Thursday]," Hainsey said.

Neither Commissioner Bettman nor Fehr were part of the big-group meetings that took place after the NHL's Board of Governors meeting Wednesday. The top executives on each side also did not sit in on the big group sessions Tuesday.

Removing Commissioner Bettman and Fehr from the big-group meetings was part of the agreement that the two sides made prior to resuming the CBA discussion Tuesday afternoon.

The idea was proposed last week by Commissioner Bettman after two days of meetings with federal mediators yielded no progress.

In a brief statement following a two-hour Board of Governors meeting that ended Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET, Commissioner Bettman said the League's Board was updated on the current state of the CBA negotiations but he did not give any details or take any questions from the media.

"We are pleased with the process that is ongoing and out of respect for that process I don't have anything else to say and I'm not going to take any questions," Commissioner Bettman said.

Daly and NHLPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr represented their respective sides in the big-group sessions Wednesday.

Daly was again joined by owners Ron Burkle (Pittsburgh Penguins), Mark Chipman (Winnipeg Jets), Murray Edwards (Calgary Flames), Jeremy Jacobs (Boston Bruins) Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Jeff Vinik (Tampa Bay Lightning).

In addition to Steve Fehr, the players were represented by Craig Adams, David Backes, Michael Cammalleri, Chris Campoli, Sidney Crosby, B.J. Crombeen, Mathieu Darche, Shane Doan, Ron Hainsey, Shawn Horcoff, Jamal Mayers, Manny Malhotra, Ryan Miller, George Parros, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Jonathan Toews, Kevin Westgarth and Daniel Winnik.

Andy McDonald was part of the Union contingent on Tuesday, but not present Wednesday. Campoli and Winnik were not on hand Tuesday.

The NHL and NHLPA have been without a CBA since Sept. 16. Games have been cancelled through Dec. 14, along with the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and the 2013 NHL All-Star Game.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl

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When I first became captain here, Monsieur Beliveau came to me and said, 'You're going to be fine. You don't have to change, you got selected because of who you are.'

— Saku Koivu on Thursday, recalling what he was told by the late Jean Beliveau when he was named Canadiens captain in 1999
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