NHL Owners, Players Say No Progress in Six Hours With Mediator

National Hockey League owners and locked-out players met separately with a federal mediator for more than six hours yesterday and had “nothing new to report,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said.

The sessions were held at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service office in Iselin, New Jersey, the NHL said on its website.

“We met for about 6 1/2 hours today with the assistance of federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh,” Daly said in a statement on the NHL website. “The parties were never actually in the same room together. We did several different caucus meeting rooms. There is nothing new to report.”

The NHL Players’ Association said on its website that union staff and players participated in the sessions.

“All I am going to say is there wasn’t any change in position,” NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr told reporters. “I can’t tell you that any progress was made.”

The NHL canceled 104 more regular-season games this week, blocking a possible start to the season until at least Dec. 31.

The lockout now has caused the cancellation of 526 regular-season games, or 43 percent of the schedule. In 1994-95, the NHL lockout ended Jan. 11 and a 48-game schedule began on Jan. 20. A lockout wiped out the 2004-05 season.

The two sides are arguing over how to split revenue and other issues, including salary arbitration and the length of unrestricted free agency. League revenue grew to $3.3 billion last season, up 50 percent from $2.2 billion in 2003-04.

Under the previous agreement, players received 57 percent, or $1.9 billion, of the sales. The remaining $1.4 billion, or 43 percent, was shared among the league’s 30 team owners. The league offered a 50-50 split in its latest contract proposal.

NHL players have been locked out since Sept. 16, the day after the old contract expired.

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