The NHL and the players' association will resume labor talks Wednesday at an undisclosed location near New York with federal mediators in attendance.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email that the mediators, who attended talks on Nov. 27 and 28 before deciding they could not help the sides come to an agreement, were requested by the players' association.
The league requested that the location be kept secret and that there be no news conferences after the talks. "We don't think a media presence is necessarily conducive to a productive meeting process," Daly wrote.
Daly and commissioner Gary Bettman, who will represent the NHL at Wednesday's meetings without any owners present, were both reportedly irate that players' association chief Donald Fehr spoke to reporters on Thursday to say that the sides were close even as the NHL's side was rejecting the union's counteroffer.
The NHL canceled games through Dec. 30 on Monday.