NEW YORK, - Bill Daly doesn't think much time will pass before the NHL's collective bargaining talks resume.
The deputy commissioner expects negotiations to be held this week, although no formal session with the NHL Players' Association had been scheduled as of Monday afternoon.
A source says the first meeting is likely scheduled for Wednesday but all sides are keeping the location and other details private.
The sides last sat down together on Wednesday in New York, when the NHLPA presented a new proposal.
Even though the union worked off a framework previously tabled by the NHL, commissioner Gary Bettman indicated they were still "far apart."
Daly welcomes the idea of adding the input of a third party into the stalled negotiations.
"We are able to confirm that we have agreed to a request by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to engage in meetings with the Union that will involve the participation of Federal Mediators," said Daly. "While we have no particular level of expectation going into this process, we welcome a new approach in trying to reach a resolution of the ongoing labor dispute at the earliest possible date. We have no further comment on the upcoming meetings at the current time."
Both sides have proposed going to a 50-50 split of revenues each season, with the NHL offering $211 million in additional payments to help ease the transition. The NHLPA has asked for $393 million.
The lockout is now in its 11th week and has forced the NHL to cancel all games through Dec. 15.