If the first bargaining session in eight days between the NHL and the players' association made any headway, neither side tipped its hand.
A large contingent of players got together with league leadership in New York on Monday night and met for less than two hours. Not a whole lot was accomplished on the road to a new agreement that could get the hockey season going, but at least there was optimism that the sides would get together again — probably as soon as Tuesday.
The league contends that it is waiting for the players to present a full proposal on all of the major issues — including core economics and player contracting, which deals with the entry-level system, arbitration and free agency. After the request was made, the players' association asked for a break and the meeting adjourned soon after.
The Angels have intensified their pursuit of Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, who toured Angel Stadium on Saturday and went out to lunch with General Manager Jerry Dipoto and Manager Mike Scioscia.
Upon returning to Japan on Sunday, Fujikawa, a 32-year-old right-hander who has been Japan's top closer for six years, told reporters, "I was very impressed with the way the Angels welcomed me. I had never been treated like that."
According to Japanese media reports, Fujikawa also visited the Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles. The Texas Rangers are reportedly interested, as well.
Fujikawa was 3-3 with a 1.24 earned-run average and 41 saves in 56 games for the Hanshin Tigers last season.
Because Fujikawa has played 10 years in Japan, major league teams do not have to go through the often-expensive posting system to acquire him.