The fourth straight day of negotiations between the NHL and the NHL Players Association on Friday ended with a tense exchange between the two sides, ESPNNewYork.com reported.
The consecutive days of discussion led to optimism that an agreement might be reached on a collective bargaining agreement, but some of the progress may have been eroded when harsh words were traded across the table between some of the players and some owners in attendance and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman .
According to the report, progress was made on revenue sharing and some economic issues, but there remains a significance gap on other issues, which seems to have led to a stalemate.
"I thought we were much closer together on a structure of a deal than suggestions were," NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said, according to ESPNNewYork.com. "(The NHL) came back to us and said, 'No, we're very, very far apart on a structure of the deal.' "
Bettman declined to characterize the state of negotiations or any details of Friday's discussions.
Among those participating in Friday's talks were 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.
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.