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NHL & NHLPA Break Talks Until Next Week

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TORONTO (Sports Network) - NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr provided updates on the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations after talks ended on Thursday in Toronto.

Bettman said the two sides remain far apart on key financial elements.

“We are focused on making a deal…NHLPA wants to keep things the way they are, and that is slowing the process,” Bettman said in tweets revealed by RDS of Canada.

The union on Thursday made a proposal regarding contract issues. Among the topics discussed were waiver rules, the college draft, items related to buyouts and bringing the postseason player’s pool back to the level it was before the last (2004-05) lockout.

“From the players standpoint, they want a fair agreement,” Fehr said. “They want one that is equitable, they want one that recognizes their contribution.”

Fehr added that “the parties would be better served by taking the time between now and Tuesday to review where we our, to work internally on various things and then to meet again on Tuesday in New York and to focus on the core economic issues going forward. That’s the plan and hopefully it will be productive when we get to it.

“We have a lot to do. I have always believed that there’s enough time.”

The current CBA expires September 15, and Bettman has publicly stated the NHL will lock out the players if a new deal is not struck by then.

“The question is, can we find a way to accommodate everybody’s interests? We’ll find out,” Fehr said.

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