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NHL declines invitation to meet

The SportsXchange

The National Hockey League declined an invitation to meet with the Players Association "for the balance of the week," according to multiple reports.

The NHLPA's executive board held a conference call Tuesday, then told the NHL they were willing to meet Wednesday, or any other date, without preconditions, to try and end the lockout. NHLPA senior spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon told ESPN.com via email that they "hope to hear from them soon."

The league quickly responded.

"They have made it clear to us that they have very little interest in the proposal we made last Tuesday," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email Tuesday night to ESPN.com. "They also told us they have no intention of making a new proposal. I'm not sure what we would be meeting about."

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had set this Thursday as a deadline to gain enough traction on a new CBA in order to drop the puck for a full 82-game season starting Nov. 2.

"The league is apparently unwilling to meet," NHLPA counsel Steve Fehr said. "That is unfortunate as it is hard to make progress without talking."
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