NEW YORK, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Negotiators seeking to end the 81-day-old NHL lockout reconvened Wednesday amid signs of progress toward a deal that would save the 2012-13 season.
The NHL Players Association was preparing a new offer as the NHL Board of Governors met at a New York law office Wednesday afternoon following an intensive 8-hour round of talks that stretched into Tuesday night, Yahoo! Sports reported.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman wouldn't comment after the governors' meeting, but Toronto Maple Leafs owner Larry Tannenbaum said the two sides have made progress and "absolutely" have more clarity on the remaining issues.
"We're going to continue to talk up until we get a deal," he told the website.
"We look forward to hopefully making more progress," Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told reporters after the Tuesday night session.
Steve Fehr, special counsel to the National Hockey League Players Association, was also upbeat. "In some ways I'd say it might be the best day we've had, which isn't to paint too overly optimistic of a picture," he said.
The failure to reach a new contract between the NHL and the union resulted in a lockout that so far has forced the cancellation of all games through Dec. 14 as well as the pre-season and the All-Star Game.
The talks appeared to gain some traction after the two sides agreed last week to change the makeup of their respective delegations. Commissioner Gary Bettman and union President Donald Fehr dropped out of the discussions and were replaced by a select group of players and six team owners.