Representatives of the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association met with federal mediators for a second straight day Thursday in an attempt to bridge the gap that divides them in their pursuit of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The NHL was represented by legal counsel Bob Batterman at the office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Iselin, N.J. NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr and Special Counsel Steve Fehr were among the Union representatives present.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly did not attend the meeting.
Steve Fehr told reporters he and Batterman sat in on a meeting with mediator Scot Beckenbaugh and agreed to talk Friday, either by phone or in person.
"I think we're done with contact tonight; we're still working on a bunch of stuff as we always are," Steve Fehr said. "I expect there will be contact [with the League on Friday]; not sure if it will be by telephone or in person, or if it is in person where it will be.
"It's good that we're talking. It's better than not talking and we'll see what happens."
The sides never met face-to-face during the mediation session Wednesday. Beckenbaugh met with each side several times Wednesday to discuss the issues the sides must bridge to reach a new deal.
The NHL and NHLPA met with mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services on Nov. 28 and 29, but those meetings broke off without progress being made.
The two sides have been without a CBA since Sept. 16. Games have been cancelled through Dec. 30, along with the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and the 2013 NHL All-Star Game.