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Lockout looms as NHL labor talks to resume

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 22 2012 12:33 a.m. MDT

TORONTO — NHL labor talks are set to resume with a wide gap remaining and time running out to avoid a potential lockout.

NHL Players' Association executive director Don Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman are scheduled to be back at the negotiating table at the union's headquarters in Toronto today. It will mark the first time in a week the respective leaders will meet face to face after negotiations hit a significant snag.

Last week, Bettman essentially rejected the union's counterproposal by calling it incomplete and suggested the sides aren't on the same page in addressing the league's economic issues.

Both sides are committed to continuing discussions with a belief a breakthrough can be achieved.

"We are hoping that our meetings this week can serve as a jumping off point for further discussion and negotiation over the critical economic and system issues that we need to resolve in order to reach an agreement," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email to the Canadian Press.

Fehr is hoping the sides can begin finding common ground on the union's proposal to increase revenue-sharing between teams.

"Hopefully we'll find a way during that process to achieve more common ground than we have so far," he said.

Fehr took time off from talks to update players in Chicago and British Columbia on the status of negotiations. He is also set to hold a similar meeting with players in Toronto later this week.

Labor talks are scheduled to take place today and Thursday, and then resume at NHL headquarters next week.

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