Representatives of the NHL owners and the NHL Players' Association met for two hours Tuesday morning in New York to continue negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement but made no progress, according to reports.
The news was discouraging after the brief meeting, ESPN.com reported, with no immediate resolution in sight.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly hinted that federal mediation might be necessary down the road if the stalemate continues.
"A mediator can only be helpful if both sides are willing to embrace it and compromise," Daly was quoted as saying by ESPN.com. "We certainly haven't ruled out that possibility."
NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr did not speak with reporters after the session.
The sides met Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the first time since the lockout began Sept. 16 over economic issues.
"Today was not overly encouraging," Daly said after the meeting.
The lockout has forced the cancellation of the preseason schedule. The regular season was set to begin Oct. 11.