The NHL's collective bargaining talks will remain covert.
The league and NHL Players' Association met without disclosing the the location of Tuesday's bargaining session, according to a Canadian Press report. And the news service reported Tuesday night the talks will resume Wednesday at another undisclosed site.
Days earlier, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr met informally in an undisclosed city.
NHLPA Executive director Donald Fehr offered no predictions when he met with the media prior to the meeting as the lockout extended to 52 days..
"The players' view has always been to keep negotiating until we find a way to get an agreement and you sort of stay at it day by day, so it's very good to be getting back to the table," he said. "And we hope that this time it produces more progress than we've seen in the past, and that we can find a way to make an agreement and to get the game back on the ice as soon as possible."
With talks at critical juncture, and players on record saying they're not optimistic about a deal, the sides need to progress quickly in order to salvage a season that already lost the Winter Classic.
Thirteen players were expected to attend: Sidney Crosby, David Backes, Craig Adams, Kevin Westgarth, Manny Malhotra, Mathieu Darche, Milan Lucic, Ron Hainsey, Johan Hedberg, Martin Biron, Shawn Thornton, Chris Campoli and Steve Montador.
Daly told The Canadian Press Monday that would stay silent until the meetings concluded.
The biggest obstacle remains the procedure that would honor in full all existing contracts, even after the players' revenue share is reduced to 50 percent from 57 percent. The NHL's Oct. 16 offer included a "make whole" stipulation, but the NHLPA didn't like that deferred payments would count against a players' future earning potential.
Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson spoke to the media Monday and echoed the players' feeling that there's no reason for excitement until both sides address the core issues.
"I don't think we're at that point right now," Alfredsson said. "Until we are, I'm not reading too much into us meeting or having discussions. We all know that that's the first step to getting something done, but until you get somewhere with those discussions nothing will happen. I feel that so far it's going according to the plan for the NHL and I don't feel that they're rushed to do anything."