NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the league has agreed to a request from Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services to "engage in meetings" with the NHL and the NHL Players Association, who have been without a contract since Sept. 16.
"While we have no particular level of expectation going into this process, we welcome a new approach in trying to reach a resolution of the ongoing labor dispute at the earliest possible date," Daly said in a statement issued to NHL.com.
"We look forward to their involvement as we continue working to reach an equitable agreement for both the players and the owners," NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr added.
The FMCS said Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh and Director of Mediation Services John Sweeney will serve as the mediators in the dispute, which has resulted in the cancellation of games through Dec. 14.
This season's NHL Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend have also been canceled.