NHL, NHLPA making progress

The National Hockey League and the Players' Association continued a lengthy negotiating session that lasted well into Saturday night/early Sunday morning as both sides continued to work toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

Each met separately with a federal mediator throughout the day Friday and into the evening. On Saturday afternoon, the two sides met face-to-face.

"The parties have been meeting since approximately 12:45 p.m. today," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. "Slow progress is being made. We hope to continue meeting to resolve as many open issues as we possibly can in pursuit of an agreement."

According to the NHL, federal mediator Scot L. Beckenbaugh worked with the groups separately Saturday morning prior to the face-to-face meeting.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said a regular-season schedule of at least 48 games must begin by Jan. 19. The existing 2012-13 NHL schedule has already been canceled through Jan. 14.

The two sides have been without a CBA since the previous one expired just before midnight on Sept. 15.