Gary Bettman says meetings between NHL, NHLPA have been 'positive'

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman poses at the offices

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman poses at the offices of the National Hockey League in New York. (Apr. 19, 2011) (Credit: AP)

Negotiators from the NHL and the NHL Players' Association met for three hours in Toronto Tuesday to discuss a new collective bargaining agreement, and will convene on Friday and again next week.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters that the fourth session since talks began in New York on July 29 was "positive . . . the process is moving forward in a constructive manner." The current CBA expires Sept. 15.

Donald Fehr, the executive director of the NHLPA, said some of the issues discussed Tuesday involved "day-to-day player working conditions" such as travel, but both sides declined to discuss details and said there is a lot of work ahead.

The major issues include how to divide hockey-related revenues between the players and the league, revenue-sharing among teams and player contracts.

"The parties are approaching this in an appropriate and businesslike manner and have got meetings scheduled going out into the future," Fehr said. "I wouldn't draw any particular significance to it beyond that."

Eleven players, including one of the newest Islanders, forward Brad Boyes, attended the session. "There are a lot of players involved," free- agent defenseman Chris Campoli said. "Guys are making their points and, as a union, that's what you want. It's great."

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