Time is becoming a bigger factor every day a deal isn't reached. The lockout, which went into effect Sept. 16 after the previous collective bargaining agreement expired, has already forced the cancellation of 327 regular-season games — including the New Year's Day outdoor Winter Classic in Michigan.
Whether any of the games that have been called off through Nov. 30 can be rescheduled if an agreement is made soon hasn't been determined. But the NHL already has said that a full 82-game season won't be played.
Back in October, the players' association responded to an NHL offer with three of its own, but all of those were quickly dismissed by the league — leading to nearly three weeks without face-to-face discussions. Daly and Steve Fehr kept in regular contact by phone and agreed to meet last weekend.
Both sides have made proposals that included a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenues.
The NHL has moved toward the players' side in the contentious issue of the "make-whole" provision and whose share of the economic pie that money will come from. But work remains to get an agreement done.
Other core economic issues — mainly the split of hockey-related revenue — along with contract lengths, arbitration and free agency also will need to be agreed upon before a deal can be reached.
The players' association accepted a salary cap in the previous CBA, which wasn't reached until after the entire 2004-05 season was canceled because of a lockout. The union doesn't want to absorb the majority of concessions this time after the NHL had record revenue that exceeded $3 billion last season.