Negotiators for the NHL and its players' union broke up after a four-hour meeting in Toronto yesterday without any progress toward reaching a new labor agreement.
The lack of movement and the failure to set a date for a meeting before next Wednesday, when the current contract expires, all but guarantees that owners will lock the players out of training camp and suspend at least part of the upcoming season.
During yesterday's meeting, the players made significant concessions toward reducing player salaries in order to help stabilize the NHL's finances, a union spokesman said. The league said the proposals were a step backward.
The league wants what it refers to as "cost certainty," which calls for the total amount it pays the players not to exceed a certain portion of overall revenues. The union wants salaries to be determined by a free-market system that enables players to earn top dollar.
* COURTS: Attorneys for Kobe Bryant have won the first round in their bid to permanently seal documents and evidence from the sexual assault case against the NBA star.
District Judge Richard Hart approved an emergency request from defense attorney Pamela Mackey, who said Bryant would "suffer real, immediate and irreparable injury" if the records were released.
At least six requests had been filed seeking access to the records after prosecutors last week dismissed the case at the request of the alleged victim, Mackey said.
The evidence includes recordings and transcripts of Bryant's interview with sheriff's investigators the night after the alleged attack at a resort near Vail, Colo., last summer and several hundred sealed court filings.
* PRO BASKETBALL: Gary Payton was arrested last month for investigation of driving under the influence, the California Highway Patrol said.
The NBA star was stopped Aug. 28 after an officer saw him backing down an on-ramp on the San Diego Freeway to avoid heavy traffic, the CHP said. . . .
The Washington Wizards have struck a deal to hold their training camp this year at the Seigel Center on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, the team announced. Last season, the Wizards trained at the College of Charleston, in South Carolina. The five-day training camp will open on Oct. 5.
* COLLEGES: Saint Joseph's men's basketball coach Phil Martelli signed a contract extension that will keep him with the school through 2012, school officials said. . . . Connecticut football coach Randy Edsall and the school have agreed to a six-year, $5.3 million contract. . . . Jason Samples threw one touchdown pass and caught another, and offensive lineman Junior Louissaint scored on a 63-yard fumble recovery as host Troy upset No. 19 Missouri, 24-14
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