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NHL, Players Union Meet; No Further Talks Set in 67-Day Lockout

The National Hockey League and its players union held two meetings in New York yesterday and reported movement on some issues as they try to end a 67-day player lockout and reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Neither side said further talks were scheduled after the National Hockey League Players’ Association presented what Executive Director Donald Fehr described as “a comprehensive proposal on all of the core economic issues.”

Fehr told reporters outside NHL headquarters yesterday that he was disappointed at the owners’ reaction to the latest player proposal.

“I can tell you that a lot of the people that were there today, given the response we got, thought they had a lot better things to do on the night before Thanksgiving,” he said.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman warned that more games will have to be canceled unless an agreement is reached soon.

“There was movement on some issues by the player association, and that was appreciated, there was some movement by us on some issues, but we’re still far apart,” he told reporters outside the league’s headquarters.

NHL players have been locked out since Sept. 16, the day after the old labor contract expired, and the league has canceled all regular-season games through Nov. 30. The two sides disagree on proposed changes to player contract rights and the sharing of hockey-related revenue.

The NHL has canceled 327 regular-season games since the start of the lockout, including the annual Winter Classic scheduled for Jan. 1.

“The players have done everything they could to get the game back on the ice, this is a fight they didn’t want, it’s a fight they didn’t pick,” Fehr said. “We made an enormous move in the owners’ direction to try and end it. At least as of today, that hasn’t been successful.”

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