NHL Lockout: 'Mixed messages' in latest talks

Richard Wolowicz

Both the owners' and players' sides sounded some hopeful notes at a sports management conference in Toronto as the league's lockout lurches on.

Prominent figures on both sides of the NHL lockout sounded hopeful on Monday regarding the progress of negotiations and the outlook for salvaging some of the 2012-13 season.

Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star reported that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke and NHL Players' Association special counsel Steve Fehr both spoke about the status of the lockout talks while at the Prime Time Sports management conference in Toronto. Burke asked for puckheads to have patience, remarking that the fans "don't identify with the income bracket with either side" of the lockout talks.

Fehr indicated that the two sides were nearing a consensus on revenue sharing, among the more contentious issues in the lockout. The attorney noted that while the players were willing "for the moment" to accept an even split of revenue, the timetable and methods of implementation are not settled.

The issues of player contract length, free agency and scheduling the remainder of the season are still outstanding. Even if an agreement is reached, the season will be abbreviated, with games already cancelled through the end of November.


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