Labor talks to continue Friday

Negotiations between the NHL and NHL Players' Association continued for three hours Tuesday in Toronto as the sides work toward a new collective bargaining agreement before the current one is due to expire Sept. 15.

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

Talks are due to continue Friday.

Neither NHL commissioner Gary Bettman nor Fehr would say whether he thinks the season will open on time with a new contract in place.

"The best work that can be done now is at the negotiating table," Bettman told the Toronto Star.

Added Fehr to the newspaper: "I don't make predictions.

"You do the best you can. You listen and explain yourself clearly and hope the other parties do likewise, and that gets you to an agreement. ... I'm not distressed by these meetings at all."

Fehr told the Star that Tuesday's talks centered on player safety and travel. He said the sides also exchanged their positions on major issues such as revenue sharing, team salary floors, free agency and conference alignment.

According to Newsday, 11 players took part in Tuesday's session.