Progress made in talks over 'financial issues'

Updated: May 26, 2005, 5:35 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Progress was reported Thursday for the second straight week in labor talks between the NHL and the players' association.

Both sides issued brief statements, but didn't reveal many details of what was discussed.

Players' association senior director Ted Saskin said he expected NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and union executive director Bob Goodenow to schedule new meetings soon.

"We just completed two days of meetings focused on revenue measurement and reporting issues," Saskin said. "There is a lot more information to be exchanged between the parties."

NHL chief legal officer Bill Daly said the sides planned to meet again next week.

"Further progress was made in reviewing and discussing league and club financial and accounting issues," Daly said.

The sides met in smaller groups and without Bettman and Goodenow just as they did last week in advance of two days of full bargaining sessions that lasted 22 hours over two days.

That led to the latest round of talks that started with a 6½-hour session on Wednesday.

The sides are trying to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with a salary cap.

As has been the case since before the lockout began last September, the league and the players' association are trying to find common ground on the idea of a cap. The sides have agreed to have one, now it's just a matter of agreeing on how it should work and what the upper and lower limits of the cap should be for each team.

Working off an April 4 concept offered by the players' association, the league and union are looking to develop a system with an upper cap that could move each year depending on revenues.

Last week, the sides met for four straight days in New York. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent in smaller groups. The respective leaders rejoined the talks for full bargaining sessions on Thursday and Friday that produced the first signs of progress in the standoff that forced the cancelation of the 2004-05 season.

The sides met for the fourth straight week and plan to keep up that kind of schedule until a deal can be worked out.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press