Labor talks to resume Tuesday

NEW YORK -- Day 3 of labor talks between the NHL and NHL Players' Association yielded little news. The two sides met for approximately 2½ hours Friday to discuss "technical matters" before wrapping up for the weekend.

According to NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, the players' association is still in the process of gathering information, both with regards to the NHL's proposal submitted last week and beyond. The NHLPA has not yet submitted a counterproposal or a proposal of its own, and it appears unready to do so at this time.

"When we get to the point where we're going to formally respond to the proposal they made -- by description, by counterproposal, or by separate proposal of our own -- everybody will know," Fehr said. "We're not there yet."

Following three consecutive days of meetings, the two camps are expected to reconvene Tuesday in Toronto to focus on "non-core economic issues."

Those issues include, but are not limited to, safety, discipline, realignment and other areas covered under the current collective bargaining agreement, which expires Sept. 15.

Both Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was reluctant to draw any conclusions from the three-day stretch, which was generally perceived to be constructive. Both sides have characterized the process thus far as civil and business-like, devoid of the hostility that could threaten to derail negotiations.

"I think this week has been a good dialogue," Bettman said, "but there's much more to be had."