Another day of no progress in NHL labor war

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Another day of no progress in NHL labor war

The NHL and NHLPA met for a second day with federal mediators in New Jersey on Thursday, and once again no progress was made. Union officials Donald Fehr and Steve Fehr were in attendance for sessions with the mediator, and NHL attorney Bob Batterman without the presence of commissioner Gary Bettman or deputy commissioner Bill Daly represented the league on a day that left both sides exactly where they had started.
Steve Fehr met with the media briefly and said the NHL and NHLPA would be in touch on Friday to discuss the next step, but it appears neither side is budging after last weeks bizarre press conference showdown.
There has been contact between the parties today, principally at the mediators office, Steve Fehr said to reporters. Ive met with the mediator, Bob Batterman outside counsel for the league has been there. Weve met separately through the mediator at times, weve met together, Don was over there very briefly.
I think were done with contact for tonight.
Interestingly enough an ESPN.com report surfaced that one of the Board of Governors had presented a middle-ground offer that, in the words of that individual, would be approved by the NHL owners. It included a compromise of a nine-year CBA that everybody on both sides would be overwhelmingly in favor of, along with a seven-year cap on personal player contracts up from the five-year maximum that the NHL is currently seeking.
The presentation also included a simple buyout option that would be within the salary cap, allowing the league to transition into the lowered cap ceiling and altered financial landscape.
It all makes plenty of sense and has been the natural end-game for both sides once they actually get around to negotiating face-to-face. It could probably end the lockout within a few hours of frank, honest discussion between the key players from both parties, but those moments have been far and few between in these negotiations. So it looks like the NHL lockout will roll past the 90-day mark and extend into next week unless something miraculous happens in the coming days.