NHL owners and players to meet Tuesday

NHL owners and players are set to meet Tuesday without commissioner Gary Bettman or union chief Donald Fehr in attendance.

Bettman first suggested the idea of a face-to-face meeting between owners and players without some of the usual representatives from either side involved in the collective bargaining sessions.

The two sides met twice last week with the involvement of federal mediators, but the process was unsuccessful.

Some owners and players who have already participated in previous bargaining sessions will likely be present.

"The NHLPA has agreed to a meeting on Tuesday in New York that should facilitate dialogue between players and owners," Fehr said in a statement. "Neither the commissioner nor I will be present, although each side will have a limited number of staff or counsel present.

"There will be owners attending this meeting who have not previously done so, which is encouraging and which we welcome. We hope that this meeting will be constructive and lead to a dialogue that will help us find a way to reach an agreement."

The current work stoppage, which began Sept. 16, has already forced the cancellation of regular-season games through Dec. 14, as well as the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend.