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NHL reports no progress after mediation session

by Shawn P. Roarke

ISELIN, N.J. -- Representatives of the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association met with federal mediators for a little more than six hours Wednesday without making progress.

The session, held at the office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service here, was overseen by mediator Scot Beckenbaugh. It is the second time the sides have used federal mediation in the past two weeks.

"We met for about six-and-a-half hours today with the assistance of federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. "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 [Wednesday] night and they are going to get back to mediator Beckenbaugh [Wednesday] night and he will get back to us [Wednesday] night."

The sides never met face-to-face during the mediation session Wednesday. Beckenbaugh met with each side several times to discuss the issues the sides must bridge to reach a new deal.

"As I think you may know, there were a number of meetings each side had with the mediator [Wednesday] and, as well, we had caucuses on our own and I assume the League personnel did also," NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said. "They were discussions of the various issues involved and how far we are apart and where we go from here. I can't tell you that any progress was made. Obviously, we are going to continue to stay in contact with the mediator [Wednesday] night and try to figure out what the next appropriate step is."

No further talks are scheduled at this time.

During the mediation session, the League was represented by Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Daly and attorneys.

The Union was represented by Executive Director Fehr, NHLPA Special Council Steve Fehr, and the following players: Craig Adams, Adrian Aucoin, Brad Boyes, Chris Campoli, Mathieu Darche, Shane Doan, Ron Hainsey, Jamal Mayers, Andy McDonald, Steve Montador, Brendan Morrison, Douglas Murray and Daniel Winnik.

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 NHL and NHLPA 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.

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