Two sides 'making progress,' but no NHL deal yet

Two sides 'making progress,' but no NHL deal yet
January 3, 2013, 7:23 am
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There were plenty of NHL lockout observers checking their watches around midnight, but little happened between the NHL and NHLPA aside from a few small measures of progress. It was thought the Players Association had until midnight to file a disclaimer of interest and begin dissolving the union, but that never happened as the two sides negotiated for more than four hours.
In fact, the disclaimer of interest subject never came up during the lengthy Wednesday evening face-to-face negotiations.
Both NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr made some brief remarks to the media in the wee hours of Thursday morning at the NHL offices, and admitted progress was made. But it appears there is still work to do as both sides continue to sit at odds over core economic issues and other issues aside from the revenue split thats already been agreed upon.
We moved closer on some issues, but theres still a ways to go, said Fehr to reporters.
The biggest bone of contention appears to be the suddenly popular pension plan an issue that was thought to have been put to rest when the players and owners negotiated nearly a month ago.
The pension plan is a complicated issue, but its something we understand is important to the players, said Bettman to reporters. As long as the process continues then I am hopeful.
Both the NHL and NHLPA confirmed that a federal mediator was in attendance for Wednesdays negotiating sessions in New York City, and is expected to continue his participation when the two sides reconvene at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning. The NHL lockout has now passed 100 days and the league has put down a drop dead of Jan. 11 when the new CBA must be agreed to in principle. Both sides are pointing toward a Jan. 19 opening for a 48-game regular season, but will need to cover some ground in order to get there.
The players can still file a disclaimer of interest to dissolve the union if talks dont improve in the coming days, but they would have to hold another vote among their 700 plus NHLPA membership.