The two sides met for four hours Wednesday, after which NHL Executive Vice President Bill Daly said none of the league's proposals included a salary cap.
"What we have said to the union all along is that there are a lot of different ways to do this," Daly said. "There are certain objectives we need to achieve and we are committed to achieving those objectives, but there are a lot of different ways to skin this cat."
The current bargaining agreement expires Sept. 15. It is unlikely the 2004-05 season will begin without a signed contract.
The league has said that about 75 percent of revenues to go player salaries, a figure the NHL feels must be reduced. The NFL pays two-thirds of its revenue to players.
The next negotiating session is scheduled for Toronto on Aug. 4.