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Pensions, ice, training camp highlight labor talks

Associated Press Modified: July 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm •  Published: July 26, 2012

TORONTO (AP) — The NHL Players Association made a number of presentations to owners on Thursday, as talks between the union and the NHL concluded for the week.

Player pensions, length of training camp and ice conditions were the topics of this round, as the two sides agreed to continue negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement on Monday in New York at the league offices.

Mathieu Schneider, special assistant to NHLPA executive director Don Fehr, said the two sides were involved in open discussion and also broke into smaller groups. The former NHL defenseman added that benefits have not been updated since the 1990s, while training camp issues include the schedule, player testing and the amount of preseason games in which veterans would be expected to participate.

On the issue of conditions, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said both sides want the "best ice possible." Typically, as the season wears on, and the playoffs are held in the late spring, ice conditions tend to diminish. However, with an influx of newer arenas throughout the league — many of which have updated facilities to maintain the ice — those problems appear to have been reduced.

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