NHL, union meet, schedule more talks

NEW YORK – After more than five hours together on the third straight day of negotiating, the NHL and players' association agreed to meet again Friday to try to reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement.

Neither side revealed much of what was discussed Thursday at a Manhattan law firm. Both NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and union executive director Donald Fehr held short media scrums on the wind-blown street in front of the once secret location of the talks.

The work stoppage reached its 54th day, and this week is considered critical for the hockey season to be saved. The lockout is threatening to force the second cancellation of an NHL season in seven years.

Even if an agreement is reached soon, it isn't clear if any of this season's games that have been called off through Nov. 30 can be rescheduled. The NHL has already said a full 82-game season won't be played.

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