Talks headed to T.O.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will hit Toronto later this week to meet with NHLPA executive...

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will hit Toronto later this week to meet with NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow to try to end the current three-month long labour lockout. (Edmonton Sun File Photo/Walter Tychnowicz)

Pierre LeBrun

, Last Updated: 5:21 PM ET

TORONTO (CP) -- The NHL and NHL Players' Association will have their full arsenal on hand for this week's labour talks.

Collective bargaining resumes for the first time since Sept. 9 when the two sides meet Thursday and possibly Friday at the NHL's Toronto offices.

NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow will be joined by senior director Ted Saskin, associate counsel Ian Pulver, outside counsel John McCambridge and the executive committee of active NHL players: president Trevor Linden, and vice-presidents Bob Boughner, Vincent Damphousse, Daniel Alfredsson, Bill Guerin, Trent Klatt and Arturs Irbe.

On the league side, commissioner Gary Bettman and executive vice-president Bill Daly will be joined by senior vice-president and general counsel David Zimmerman, outside counsel Bob Batterman as well as owners from their executive committee: Calgary Flames part-owner Harley Hotchkiss (chairman of the board), Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs (chairman of the finance committee), Nashville Predators owner Craig Leopold, Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos and New Jersey Devils CEO and GM Lou Lamoriello.

It's the same group of people on both sides from the Sept. 9 meeting, missing only Minnesota Wild chairman Bob Naegele.

The union invited the league back to the negotiating table last Thursday with the lure of a new proposal, a work in progress that probably won't be done until Wednesday.

The offer is believed to contain serious concessions from the players, but still won't have the "cost certainty" the league is looking for. Bettman wants any new system to have a fixed link between players costs and league revenues, which the union labels a salary cap and says it will never accept.

Instead, the union is expected to offer up another payroll tax, this time with more teeth, as well as revenue sharing, changes to the entry-level system, changes to the qualifying offer process, and other unnamed givebacks.

Whether or not it's enough to keep talks going is the big question. Daly said last week the league may or may not offer a counter-proposal, depending on the union offer.

When the two sides sit down Thursday morning, 372 NHL games will have already gone by the wayside.


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