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League and union to resume labor negotiations on Friday
(Reuters) - The National Hockey League (NHL) and union representing its players will resume labor talks on Friday for the first time since a lockout began 10 days ago, but the session is expected to focus only on non-core economic issues.
Topics to be discussed at the New York meeting could include pensions, schedule, medical, travel and the grievance procedure, the NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) said on Tuesday.
The talks represent the first formal discussions between the two sides since the NHL locked out its players when the previous labor deal expired with the two sides at odds over how to divide a $3.3 billion revenue pie.
The lockout, which is the NHL's fourth work stoppage in 20 years, has already forced the league to cancel the first week of pre-season games that were supposed to begin last weekend.
With no end in sight to the dispute, a number of big-name NHL players have already found work in European leagues rather than sit idly waiting for a deal to be reached.
The work stoppage is the first in the NHL since a lockout wiped out the entire 2004-05 campaign, and the upcoming season could see the same fate as the two sides remain at a stalemate over key economic issues.
The NHL, which enjoyed record-breaking revenues last season, had most recently offered players a six-year deal, with an initial 49 percent share of revenues dipping to 47 percent over the term of the agreement.
Players received 57 percent of revenue under the old deal.
The latest proposal from the NHLPA was tied to projected future revenues with players willing to take a smaller slice of the pie as the league grows.
The union's offer opened with players earning 54.3 percent of revenues, dipping to 52.7 percent.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ian Ransom)
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