NHL, IOC have good working session

There is still no deal to send NHL players to Sochi next February for the Olympics, but another meeting Friday advanced the process.

Officials from the NHL, NHL Players' Association, International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation met in New York City to try and resolve the outstanding issues that remain in striking an agreement.

"We had a good working session and were able to discuss all of the issues involved in the possibility of having NHL Players participate in the 2014 Sochi Games," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. "The parties are committed to continuing to work through the process, but there remains work to be done on all sides."

Added NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr: "Today's discussion was constructive. While there is a lot of work still to be done, I remain cautiously optimistic."

IIHF president Rene Fasel has said before he hoped to have a deal in place before the men's world championships begin in early May.

Top NHL officials went to Sochi last month for a site visit and had further meetings with Olympic and IIHF officials. The NHL has participated with its players in every Olympics since 1998 in Nagano, Japan.