Three days of talks between National Hockey League officials and NHL players union leaders failed to produce an end to the two-week lockout and no new talks on a new deal have been scheduled.
Both sides are planning to talk among themselves before scheduling a new round of discussions as next week’s scheduled season-opening games look to be called off before the end of this week.
“It’s not like we’re breaking off negotiations,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “It’s that we need a little more time to do some work. They have got some work to do too.”
The league locked out players September 16 and has already wiped out all pre-season exhibition games. Regular-season games are set to begin October 11.
A similar stalemate wiped out the entire 2004-2005 NHL season.
Players had received 57 percent of $3.2 billion in revenues under the old deal. Owners reportedly want at least 53 percent under a new agreement.
Five hours of talks on Sunday focused on player health and safety issues, including doping tests, while Saturday’s session centered on revenues.
“It’s good we’re talking,” NHL Players Association special counsel Steve Fehr said. “It is true that we could have done this last week or the week before or the week before that, but it’s a lot better than doing it three weeks from now. So I think it’s some progress and hopefully it will continue.”