Mum's the word

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:44 PM ET

National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman met in Toronto yesterday with Maple Leafs brass, but neither side was willing to divulge much following the get-together. "We received an update on collective bargaining, and aside from that, it's the extent of my comment," Leafs general manager John Ferguson said. "It was very informative."

The NHL's chief legal officer, Bill Daly, also refused to discuss the substance of the meeting.

At the request of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., chairman Larry Tanenbaum, Bettman travelled to Toronto to meet with the Leafs hierarchy. It is believed Bettman and Daly sat down with Tanenbaum, MLSEL president Richard Peddie and Ferguson.

It has been speculated the Leafs would tell Bettman they have no interest in using replacement players next season if the lockout continues.

The issue of replacement players is bound to cause further headaches for the league, as there appears to be a growing split between those clubs which are willing to use them and those which are not.

As time inches closer to September and the frame in which training camps would normally be unfolding in their usual manner, it's probable the idea of using replacement players will be less palatable to many teams. However, some clubs such as the Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks have said they would use replacement players.

Also, it's thought Bettman was going to ask the Leafs to drop their opposition to sharing more revenue with the bottom feeders in the NHL. There is speculation Bettman will take that request to the other rich teams, including the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings.

Bettman will meet with the NHL's board of governors on Wednesday. The NHL and NHL Players' Association are slated to meet on Tuesday.


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