NHL lockout: Mediators not leaving just yet

Bruce Bennett

The NHL and NHLPA remained in contact with U.S. government mediators on Thursday afternoon.

The NHL and NHL Players Association continued their meetings with U.S. government mediators on Thursday in an attempt to bridge the gap on issues stemming from the collective bargaining negotiations.

The two sides met with mediators Scot L. Beckenbaugh and John Sweeney at an undisclosed location on Wednesday. It was later revealed by multiple reports that the discussions took place at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service field office in Woodbridge, N.J.

While both sides attended the mediation session, none of the NHL's board of governors attended the meeting. Instead, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, deputy commissioner Bill Daly and the constituency's legal team represented the owners.

The NHLPA sent 13 players, in addition to executive director Donald Fehr and special council Steve Fehr.

The two sides did not partake in face-to-face meetings but rather met individually with the mediators, which is a common strategy used in mediation.

On Thursday, the two sides reconvened at the same location. However, the NHL was represented only by attorney Bob Batterman, while Steve Fehr attended for the NHLPA. According to John Shannon of Sportsnet, Batterman attended the meetings at the request of the Players Association.

As of Thursday afternoon, it remains unclear whether the two sides will engage in face-to-face meetings.

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