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League, Union encouraged after eight-hour meeting

by Dan Rosen

NEW YORK -- After meeting for approximately eight hours Tuesday, representatives from the select group of National Hockey League owners and players involved in the latest round of negotiations toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement indicated they expect to continue their face-to-face dialogue Wednesday.

"I appreciate the efforts of the players, in particular we had 18 players in there [Tuesday] and six of our owners," National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said after the meeting adjourned shortly after midnight. "I think everybody is working hard. I think everybody wants to get a deal done, so I think that's encouraging.

"We look forward to hopefully making more progress [Wednesday]."

Daly said the NHL and National Hockey League Players' Association have not confirmed when they will resume discussions Wednesday, but it will likely be before the NHL convenes its Board of Governors meeting at 11 a.m. ET.

Daly said the sides will also likely meet in the afternoon Wednesday after the conclusion of the Board of Governors meeting.

"I thought it was a constructive day, we had a good dialogue," NHLPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr said. "In some ways I'd say it might be the best day we've had, which isn't to paint too overly optimistic of a picture.

"There is still a lot of work to do and a lot to get done, but we'll be back at it [Wednesday] morning."

The meeting Tuesday at a midtown Manhattan hotel was the first time representatives from the NHL and NHLPA got together since two days of discussions with federal mediators last week yielded no progress.

After the second day of mediation concluded, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman proposed a players-owners meeting that excluded both Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr.

Daly and Steve Fehr were involved in the meetings. They made their statements to the media while standing together at the podium.

Representing the NHL owners were 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).

The players were represented by Craig Adams, David Backes, Michael Cammalleri, Sidney Crosby, B.J. Crombeen, Mathieu Darche, Shane Doan, Ron Hainsey, Shawn Horcoff, Jamal Mayers, Manny Malhotra, Andy McDonald, Ryan Miller, George Parros, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Jonathan Toews and Kevin Westgarth.

The NHL and NHLPA have been without a CBA since Sept. 16. Games have been cancelled through December 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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