Statements from both sides said the mediators saw no reason at present to continue the negotiations.
The lockout of NHL players by league owners has lasted 75 days and games through Dec. 14 have been canceled. For the second time in eight years the league faces the possibility of losing an entire season due to an inability to reach a new collective bargaining agreement.
"Today, we concluded two days of mediation with FMCS (Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service) mediators and representatives of the NHL Players' Association," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said.
"After spending several hours with both sides over two days, the presiding mediators concluded that the parties remained far apart and that no progress toward a resolution could be made through further mediation at this point in time."
Union chief Don Fehr issued a similar statement.
"This afternoon, the mediators informed the parties that they did not think it was productive to continue the discussions further today," he said. "The mediators indicated that they would stay in contact with the league and the (union) and would call the parties back together when they thought the time was right."