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NHL, players union meet for fourth straight day, but no agreement

The SportsXchange

The NHL and NHL Players' Association met for the fourth consecutive day on Friday in New York as they try to hammer out an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement, ESPN.com reported.

A number of meetings were scheduled between the two sides for Friday, but no agreement was announced at the end of the afternoon session.

There had been reports that talks might continue into Friday evening, but multiple media outlets reported that discussions are through for the day.

However, there is no indication the talks are on the verge of breaking down.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman apparently is willing to resume the talks after the union has had time for some internal discussions. It's possible talks will continue over the weekend, although nothing had been scheduled as of Friday afternoon.

Among those participating in Friday afternoon's talks were NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold and Calgary Flames co-owner Murray Edwards.

NHLPA told ESPN.com that Brad Richards, Jeff Halpern, Chris Campoli, Mathieu Darche, Ron Hainsey, George Parros and Kevin Westgarth were at the meetings.

Fehr sent a memo to players following the NHL's latest proposal on Thursday, which was a response to the union's Wednesday proposals.

Fehr seemed to caution the players about becoming too optimistic that a settlement might be imminent.

ProHockeyTalk.com obtained a copy of the entire Fehr memo, and it appears the union still has issues with revenue sharing, the league's "Make Whole" idea, and various issues regarding player contracts that "significantly reduce a player's bargaining power and give the owner much more leverage over a player for most if not all of his career."

The 55-day lockout has forced the cancellation of 327 regular-season games, including the New Year's Day Winter Classic in Michigan, and ensured that a full season won't be played.
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