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Lots of tight lips as NHL labor talks continue

December 05, 2012|By Helene Elliott
  • Tim Leiweke arrives at the MLS Cup game.
Tim Leiweke arrives at the MLS Cup game. (Victor Decolongon / Getty…)

NEW YORK -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made a brief statement after the league's Board of Governors met Wednesday, but he gave no indication if Tuesday's labor talks between players and owners -- and another session on Wednesday -- had made it more likely that a season-saving agreement could soon result.

"We just completed a two-hour Board of Governors meeting, which was basically an update," Bettman said. "We are pleased with the process that is ongoing, and out of respect for that process, I don't have anything else to say and I’m not going to take any questions.

See you later.”

The governors usually meet this time of year, though usually in a warmer and more luxurious setting. The board has the power to ratify rules and approve or reject a new collective bargaining agreement.

The same six owners and 18 players who appeared to make some progress after meeting twice on Tuesday were due to convene again Wednesday afternoon. Each side caucused separately Wednesday morning. Bettman and his NHL Players' Assn. counterpart, Donald Fehr, were not expected to participate in the meetings.

The league has banned club executives from discussing the labor negotiations, so no one was particularly chatty after the governors met Wednesday at the offices of a Manhattan law firm.

"I’m not talking," said Tim Leiweke, the Kings’ representative, as he left the session.

"We feel good about the information we got," John Davidson, president of hockey operations for the Columbus Blue Jackets, said as he climbed into a car.

"As long as we're talking, we're hopeful," Toronto Maple Leafs owner Larry Tanenbaum said.

"We got updated," Ducks General Manager Bob Murray said. "It’s going fine. It's going good. You know that I'm not supposed to say anything."

But Murray did have one question -- about the Lakers. "They playing any better?" he asked.

Told they weren’t, he shook his head. "With that team," he said, echoing the reaction of most Lakers fans.

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