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NHL and Players' Association back to bargaining after Winter Classic cancelled

Only a day after the Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings was cancelled, the NHL and its Players’ Association are headed back to the bargaining table.

The meeting, at an undisclosed location, will reportedly strictly be between Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr.

It will be the first time the sides have sat down together in more than two weeks, with the lockout now nearly two months old.

The talks are set to restart in a private setting so that the two sides can “focus on bargaining.”

Both Daly and Fehr have been talking informally over the phone over the past week, according to the Canadian Press.

One of the major points currently being debated is the “make-whole provision,” which would see players receive deferred payments that would ensure their current contracts are honoured. These payments would not be counted against the players’ share of hockey revenue, according to sources.

The most recent offer from the league saw the revenue sharing split at 50-50, however  other issues with contracts kept the two sides far apart.

The lockout has already seen the league cancel 326 regular-season games through Nov. 30. It has also seen the cancelling of the Jan. 1 Winter Classic outdoor game at Michigan Stadium, with the league saying there was not enough time left to put things together.

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