The NHL and NHL Players Association have agreed to resume collective bargaining negotiations in the near future, according to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr have been engaging in discussions that have been described as "substantive" in nature via phone and email exchanges. Apparently, those discussions have been productive enough that the two sides believe there is reason to engage in face-to-face discussions.
However, it still remains unclear whether these fruitful discussions will lead to productive negotiations as the nature of the talks have yet to be defined. As of this time, there has been no firm plans on the format, location or day of this future meeting(s), as it has apparently yet to be scheduled. The only indication at this time, is that the negotiations are expected to resume in the near future.
As of Thursday afternoon, Daly informed LeBrun via email that a third-party mediator would not be brought into the process at this time. U.S. federal mediator George H. Cohen declined comment to LeBrun, but did mention that he has been in contact with both the NHL and NHLPA.