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Sports News Roundup: NHL, union talk at secret location

Associated Press Bargaining resumed Tuesday afternoon between the NHL and its players’ association, a constructive turn in the seven-week lockout. Donald Fehr, the union’s executive director, expressed cautious optimism before the talks began at an undisclosed location in Manhattan. “The players’ view has always been that you ought to keep negotiating until you find a way to get an agreement, and you stay at it day by day, so it’s very good to be getting back to the table,” Fehr told reporters at the union’s temporary offices. Fehr said he expected Commissioner Gary Bettman to attend the session, but added that he was not certain whether Bettman would be present. NHL officials have said they will not comment on the session in an effort to prevent distractions and keep focus on the negotiations. The location of Tuesday’s meeting was kept secret at the league’s request. Several NHL owners arrived in New York over the past 24 hours and were expected to be present for the talks. On the union side, about 15 players, including Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby, attended the negotiations. “We hope that this time it produces more progress than we have seen in the past, and we can figure out a way to make an agreement and get the game back on the ice as soon as possible,” Fehr said ahead of today’s bargaining session. The biggest snag among many to be worked out was the so-called make whole provision, by which existing contracts would be paid in full despite a proposed reduction in player earnings from 57 percent of league revenues to 50 percent.

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