More long hockey talks, more scheduled

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks with reporters following

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks with reporters following labor talks with the NHLPA in Toronto. (Aug. 23, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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Hoping to find common ground in time to salvage a partial season, negotiators for the NHL and NHLPA will meet Thursday for the third consecutive day, having met for almost six hours at an undisclosed location in Manhattan Wednesday.

The two sides, who have been stalemated since the previous collective bargaining agreement expired on Sept. 15, began meeting about 3 p.m. Neither side met with the media afterward. Representative of the league and the locked-out players also talked for seven hours in Manhattan on Tuesday

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Yesterday's discussions, at least in part, involved increased revenue-sharing to help financially-distressed teams. In previous proposals, the league was suggesting raising the number to $200 million; the players were proposing $250 million.

But revenue-sharing is just one of the elements of a new deal. A major issue, if the sides are to get to a 50-50 split of revenues, is whether existing contracts will be honored with deferred payments from teams and the league. The players, who were receiving 57 percent of the revenues, are willing to drop to 50 percent, but the mechanism to get there, and some concessions from the league, are necessary.

Term limits on contracts -- the NHL proposed a five-year maximum -- and an end to front-loaded pacts that skirt the salary cap were another set of topics. The Post, citing sources, reported via Twitter that one-time amnesty buyouts, which was an element of the settlement eight years ago, was on the table. A team could buy out a player and not have his old salary included under the cap.

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