Donald Fehr told reporters that the union and the NHL moved closer on a few things during lengthy talks on Wednesday. But the NHLPA executive director added that there is still a ways to go.
The NHLPA and NHL met for several hours on Wednesday, bleeding into the early hours of Thursday -- and past the 11:59 p.m. Eastern deadline the union had to file its disclaimer of interest. Fehr would neither confirm nor deny if the union filed. But NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, speaking to reporters a few minutes later, said the league hasnt been notified about a disclaimer of interest.
Bettman added that the two sides will meet again at 10 a.m. today.
Federal mediator Scot Beckenbough joined Wednesdays talks at the request of both sides, and will be present again in Thursday mornings talks.
Bettman told reporters that the NHL and NHLPA had philosophical discussions about various issues during their four-hour talk on WednesdayThursday.
The two sides have traded proposals over the past few days. The NHL presented a 288-page proposal to the players association last Thursday. That led to the two sides meeting face-to-face on New Years Eve and beginning this latest round of negotiations -- or perhaps its more like the first real round of negotiations, considering the lack of progress over the past few months.
If there is a season, it would be a minimum of 48 games and Bettman said the puck would have to drop on Jan. 19.