Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 11/28/12
Whether federal mediators will provide enough help to end the NHL lockout in time to save the hockey season is still unknown. At least they had a good first day. Negotiators from the NHL and the players' association returned to the bargaining table Wednesday for the first time in a week and the first time with outside voices contributing to the talks. The location was secret, and so was what was discussed, but the talks went well enough that the sides will be back at the negotiating table Thursday. "No comments," was all NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly would say Wednesday night in an email to The Associated Press. NHLPA executive director Don Fehr issued a short statement, saying: "A small group of NHLPA staff and players met today with two experienced FMCS mediators. We expect that these discussions will resume on Thursday." It was the first meeting between the sides since a get-together that lasted just over two hours last week in New York after the locked-out players' association made a new comprehensive proposal that was quickly rejected by the NHL. The sides agreed Monday to use the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. George Cohen, the service's director, assigned deputy director Scot Beckenbaugh and director of mediation services John Sweeney to the negotiations. Beckenbaugh and Sweeney met separately with the two sides before talks began in full Wednesday. It wasn't immediately known how long negotiations went on before they ended in the early evening. In the previous meeting last week, Fehr said the sides were 182 million apart in a five-year deal, which comes to 1.2 million annually for each of the 30 teams. The NHL wants to increase eligibility for free agency to 28 years of age or eight seasons of service, up from 27 years or seven seasons. The league has also proposed adding a year of service for salary arbitration eligibility, hiking it from 1-4 to 2-5 years of service, depending on the age a player signs. On Oct. 16, the NHL proposed a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue, down from the players' 57 percent portion of 3.3 billion last season. With guaranteed contracts likely to push the players' share over the halfway mark at the start of the next deal, management wants that money to come out of future years to bring the overall percentage down to an even split over the length of an agreement. Players previously had proposed they receive a guaranteed amount of income each year. Fehr said players proposed they get 393 million over the length of the deal, while the NHL is at 211 million. Owners want a seven-year deal, which the union says is too long because less than half the current players will be active by the last season. This is the league's third lockout since 1994. The first was settled on Jan. 11 and the last one led to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announcing the cancellation of the 2004-05 season on Feb. 15. That marked the only time a major professional North American sports league lost an entire season because of a labor dispute. This lockout, which reached its 74th day Wednesday, has already forced the cancellation of all games through Dec. 14, the New Year's Day Winter Classic, and All-Star Weekend that was slated for Columbus, Ohio, in January.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Luke Maye sends North Carolina to the Final Four with game-winning shot

Singer Darius Rucker cries as South Carolina clinches Final Four berth

Rockets take shot at Westbrook's MVP candidacy

New info shows just how much Las Vegas wants Raiders

Tomlin: Steelers are preparing for Roethlisberger's retirement

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bills reporter: 'Only a matter of time' before GM Whaley is fired

Report: Patriots, Revis have not discussed possible reunion

Video of LaVar Ball playing basketball surfaces and he doesn't look great

Reporter: Giants 'would not go near' Adrian Peterson

Report: Browns unlikely to give Josh Gordon another chance

Popovich: Owners interfering with player rest is risky

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker