NHL, NHLPA meet with mediator; Daly says drop-dead date “has never been considered”

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It’s unclear whether CBA negotiations (if you can call them that lately) will continue today after the NHLPA met with federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh this morning.

As you may know, yesterday’s talks failed to bridge the gap between the NHL and the players.

How long can the two sides sit and stare at each other until the season is kaput? Well, deputy commissioner Bill Daly tells Yahoo!’s Nick Cotsonikas that a drop-dead date “has never been considered.”

That said, commissioner Gary Bettman said last week that he “can’t imagine wanting to play fewer than” 48 games — the same number they played after the 1994-95 work stoppage — which most observers believe means a mid-January target.

Update: 2:50 p.m. ET:

The NHL, represented by counsel Bob Batterman, has also spoken with the mediator; however, the two sides have yet to meet together in the same room. Whether they do remains up in the air.