NHL talks go nowhere; mediator needed

This is how embarrassing things have gotten for the NHL and the NHL Players Association: They couldn't even agree on what the labor talks were about on Wednesday in New York City.

Bill Daly, the NHL's deputy commissioner, said there were no conversations about economic issues. Steve Fehr, legal counsel for the NHLPA, said there were.

Can both sides please hire a mediator to steer these negotiations on track?

Little to no progress was made at Wednesday's two meetings.

"Disappointing" is how Daly characterized it.

The lockout has reached 26 days since the collective-bargaining agreement expired on Sept. 15.

Daly estimated the league had lost $240 million with the cancellation of preseason games and the first two weeks of the regular season. He said the league is still waiting for the NHLPA to make a counter-offer on how to divide hockey-related revenue.

“We understand that they've been working on some concepts, some ideas...just make the proposal,” he told reporters.

In another development, an Alberta labor board denied the NHLPA’s request and ruled that the league’s lockout of players from the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames can continue.

Declaring the lockout illegal in the province wouldn't help the league and players reach a settlement, the board said.

The NHLPA claimed that the Oilers and Flames are Alberta businesses and must abide by provincial rules.

Bullies scheduled. The Wells Fargo Center will be empty Thursday, which was supposed to be the Flyers’ opener against Boston. To give fans their hockey fix, XFINITY Live! Philadelphia, located down the street from the arena, will show HBO’s Broad Street Bullies documentary at 7 p.m. Thursday, and some of the players from that team will make appearances.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.