League, players hope to get talks restarted this week
(Reuters) - National Hockey League (NHL) owners and players were hoping to get their contentious negotiations back on track this week, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on Sunday.
Although there have been no formal talks since negotiations broke down last Thursday, Daly said the sides were in communication about resuming talks.
"We spoke this weekend," Daly told Reuters in an email. "Looking at setting something up for this week, but nothing scheduled yet."
Hopes of a quick end to the bitter labor dispute faded last week when the latest round of talks broke off, leaving the two feuding parties pointing the finger at each other.
The collapse came just days after the sides looked to be close to reaching a new collective bargaining agreement and salvaging something from a season that was supposed to start two months ago.
The dispute centers around how to divide the league's $3.3 billion in annual revenue. It is costing the NHL between $18-$20 million a day, the league has said.
Players have been locked out since mid September and more than 400 regular-season games plus the All-Star Game have been canceled.
The work stoppage is the fourth in 20 years for the NHL, the last coming when the 2004-5 season was wiped out.
While both sides have agreed in principle to a 50-50 split of revenues they had remained at odds over how to reach the target, with owners demanding an immediate reduction from the 57 percent players received under the previous agreement, while the union sought to see cuts brought in gradually.
The players and owners also had deep differences on several other key points, including contract restraints and free agency.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Julian Linden)
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