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NHL, NHLPA meet Friday to discuss CBA negotiations

by Dan Rosen

NEW YORK -- Negotiations toward establishing a new Collective Bargaining Agreement resumed Friday, one week after talks between the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players' Association stalled.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly met at the League's office with NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr and Special Counsel Steve Fehr. The sides held two separate meetings with discussions believed to be centered around restarting the negotiation process.

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Robyn Regehr and Minnesota Wild forward Zenon Konopka were present during the morning negotiating session.

Neither Commissioner Bettman nor Donald Fehr characterized that meeting or revealed what was discussed, but both said the sides plan to continue talking.

Commissioner Bettman said the dialogue had not stopped and the lines of communication remain open despite the fact the sides had not had a formal negotiating session in a week.

The current CBA expires Sept. 15.

"We'd like to make a deal," Commissioner Bettman said. "I know it's difficult when every breath we take is being chronicled, but there is an ebb and a flow to collective bargaining negotiations and sometimes it makes sense to get together, and sometimes it makes sense to take a deep breath."

Donald Fehr said the sides had been talking about how and when to get back together for the past couple of days. It was decided Thursday that they would meet Friday.

"To try and find a way to bridge the gaps," Fehr said, outlining the purpose of Friday's morning meeting. "That's always the intent, but it certainly was [Friday]."

The sides met again Friday evening.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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