NHLPA agrees to meeting
NEW YORK -- After three days of mulling the idea and discussing the parameters, the NHL Players' Association has agreed to a league-proposed players- and owners-only meeting.
Said deputy commissioner Bill Daly in a statement: "We have confirmed with the Union that we will attempt to schedule a players/owners-only meeting for some time on Tuesday afternoon in New York.
"We will provide further details when available and as appropriate."
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The talk is in advance of Wednesday's board of governors meeting.
The meeting -- believed to be a significant point of internal discussion with the union -- will include six owners, roughly the same amount of players and a limited amount of staff members from both the NHL and NHLPA.
When commissioner Gary Bettman originally proposed the idea after mediation talks broke off last Thursday, he suggested a players/owners-only meeting with no staff present from either side.
Both Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr will not attend the meeting, although the limited staff personnel allowed for both sides is still yet to be determined.
"The NHLPA has agreed to a meeting on Tuesday in New York that should facilitate dialogue between players and owners," Fehr said in a release. "Neither the Commissioner nor I will be present, although each side will have a limited number of staff or counsel present.
"There will be owners attending this meeting who have not previously done so, which is encouraging and which we welcome. We hope that this meeting will be constructive and lead to a dialogue that will help us find a way to reach an agreement."
The six representatives the NHL expects at the meeting will be Boston's Jeremy Jacobs, Calgary's Murray Edwards, Pittsburgh's Ron Burkle, Toronto's Larry Tannenbaum, Winnipeg's Mark Chipman and Tampa Bay's Jeffrey Vinik.
Jacobs, considered one of the hard-line owners, and Edwards are the only members of the group of six to have taken part in previous negotiations.
Despite recent reports that New York Rangers owner James Dolan expressed interest in becoming involved, as he did during the NBA labor dispute last year, he was not extended an invitation.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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