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NHL labor talks to resume Wednesday

TORONTO -- Labor talks between the NHL and the players'
union resume Wednesday, the first meeting between the sides since
July 21.

The collective bargaining agreement, twice extended in the last
10 years, expires Sept. 15 -- the day after the World Cup
championship game in Toronto.

The meeting is at the offices of the NHL Players Association in
Toronto. Before the session two weeks ago in New York, the sides
hadn't bargained since May 25.

In New York, the parties met for four hours and the league
submitted outlines of six concepts concerning cost certainty. The
union disapproved.

"Each one of them begins and ends with a salary cap, and that
doesn't provide any basis for any progress," said Ted Saskin, the
union's senior director.

Bill Daly, the league's chief legal counsel, said at the time it
was a hopeful sign the union asked for more information on the
concepts.

The league says 75 percent of total revenues in 2002-03 went to
player costs, leaving only 25 percent to pay for coaches, travel,
building costs, marketing and advertising.

The NHLPA proposed a system last Oct. 1 that included revenue
sharing, a luxury tax, a one-time 5 percent rollback in salaries
and some changes to the entry-level system.