Marathon Meetings Yield Some Progress

National Hockey League and NHL Players' Association representatives met for fourteen hours on Thursday and another eight hours on Friday, coming away from the meetings cautiously optimistic about the chances of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement.

"We had two long days of meetings in which the parties discussed and made progress on some of the key issues pertaining to a new economic system," said NHL executive vice president Bill Daly in a release. "While we have not yet been able to reach agreement on those issues, we remain committed to continuing the process in earnest until a new collective bargaining agreement can be achieved."

While both sides acknowledged the progress, NHLPA senior director Ted Saskin confirmed that there are many issues left to resolve.

"While we made progress in some areas there remain many issues to be addressed. Since so many of the systemic and economic issues are interrelated, it is clear that much work remains to be done."

The two sides spent Thursday and Friday attempting to determine what constitutes a team's revenue. The Players' Association has long argued that it does not believe the league's numbers in relation to team-by-team income and expenditures.

The league was represented by commissioner Gary Bettman, Daly, director of hockey operations Colin Campbell, NHL general counsel David Zimmerman, board of governors chairman Harley Hotchkiss of the Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils CEO and GM Lou Lamoriello, Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold, outside counsel Bob Batterman and lawyer Shep Goldfein.

Representing the NHLPA were executive director Bob Goodenow, Saskin, associate counsel Ian Pulver, director of business relations Mike Gartner, outside counsel McCambridge, Detroit Red Wings veteran Brendan Shanahan, and the executive committee, consisting of president Trevor Linden and vice-presidents Vincent Damphousse, Bill Guerin, Daniel Alfredsson, Arturs Irbe, Trent Klatt and Bob Boughner.

The sides hope to meet every week until a new CBA is negotiated.

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