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NHL, Players' Union To Meet Again Today

Wednesday, January 26, 2005; Page D02

The NHL and the players' union are taking another shot at saving the hockey season, which has been on the brink of cancellation for weeks.

A two-day meeting last week produced no tangible progress toward a labor agreement. The league and the union will meet again today in Toronto, but no formal proposal will be presented by the league.

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Bill Daly, the NHL's chief legal officer, said yesterday his negotiating team met this past weekend to discuss new ideas and address some issues raised by NHL Players Association President Trevor Linden, the Vancouver Canucks center who initiated last week's meeting.

The same group of negotiators that met in Chicago and Toronto will gather again: Linden, NHLPA senior director Ted Saskin and outside counsel John McCambridge, as well as Daly, board of governors chairman Harley Hotchkiss and outside counsel Bob Batterman. Again, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Bob Goodenow will sit this one out.

The lockout, which reached its 132nd day yesterday, already has forced the cancellation of 699 of 1,230 regular season games, plus the All-Star Game.

No proposals have been made since early December, when the players offered a 24 percent rollback on all existing contracts. The NHL turned that down.

-- From News Services

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