NHL, union to return to bargaining, with mediators
From the league's point of view, three main issues remain: the length of the collection bargaining agreement, rules governing term limits on contracts and the transition rules to help teams get under the salary cap.
There are also secondary issues yet to be agreed on, including the continued participation of NHL players in the Olympics, the international calendar and drug-testing rules.
In all, more than 40 percent of the regular season that was scheduled to begin Oct. 11 has been scratched.
The NHL eliminated 16 more days from the regular-season schedule Monday, canceling games through Dec. 30 in addition to the New Year's Day Winter Classic and the All-Star Game, which were already wiped out.
The latest cancellations generally were regarded as both bad news and good news.
While losing another two weeks hurts the league and the players, the fact that the NHL did not take more games off the schedule sparked speculation owners are holding out hope of making a deal that could start the season in early January.
Bettman has said the league would not want to play anything less than a 48-game season, which is what it had after 1994-95 lockout ended.
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