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Negotiations wrap late, Bettman expects more talks on Thursday

Jan 3, 2013, 1:37 AM EDT

Fehr and Bettman AP

After more than four hours of late-night negotiating, the NHL and NHLPA ended Wednesday’s discussions without a new CBA. On the bright side, Gary Bettman told multiple reporters that the previously undocumented mediation will resume Thursday at 10 a.m. ET.

Overall, the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman summarizes the Bettman’s and Donald Fehr’s thoughts as such: there was progress made, but a gap still remains.

Disclaimer of interest update

Bettman told the Canadian Press’ Chris Johnston that the league was “not notified” about a disclaimer of interest. Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos indicates that the union would require a re-vote to start the process of filing again.

Mediation

It was a bit of an eyebrow-raiser that mediation was involved on Wednesday, but that’s not all: ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the sides have used a mediator all week long. Johnston reports that his name is Scot Beckenbaugh.

Philosophical differences

The two sides are still in “guarded” mode, which isn’t a bad sign.

Donald Fehr indicated that there’s been progress but there’s “still a ways to go,” while Johnston squeezed a little more out of Bettman:

What’s ahead

The mediation session seems likely, yet Fehr told Johnston that the NHLPA will decide if it wants to participate in another meeting after assessing things on Thursday morning.

***

Overall, it seems like baby steps have been made. We’ll see if any serious progress happens this week or if the two sides need the immediacy of that Jan. 11 deadline for real action to happen.

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