TORONTO — The NHL and its players' union are to resume bargaining Friday for the first time since the lockout began, though talks will concentrate on secondary economic issues.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHL Players' Association special counsel Steve Fehr met Tuesday in Toronto and set up the session, which will be in New York. These will be the first formal negotiations since Sept. 12, when the players and owners exchanged proposals.
The lockout started Sept. 16, when training camps were to open. With the league and union far apart on money, both sides decided to discuss other economic issues that also are necessary for an agreement. Fehr said the topics will include pension and medical plans, schedule rules, drug testing and the grievance procedure.
"Obviously, we've got to talk before you can get a deal, so I think it's important to get the talks going again," Daly said Monday. "But you also have to have something to say."
The St. Louis Blues laid off what is believed to just under 20 front-office workers, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The NHL has $3.3 billion in annual revenue. The league wants to reduce the players' share of hockey related revenue from 57 percent to a range between 49 percent and 47 percent, up from 43 percent in its original proposal.
HEDMAN TO KHL: Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman signed a contract with Barys Astana of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League and will report Friday, his agent said.
"He wants to play in the best league there is right now," agent Peter Wallen said of finding Hedman a place to play during the NHL lockout.
AULIE SIGNS: Lightning defenseman Keith Aulie signed a minor-league contract with AHL Syracuse. Aulie, who has a two-way deal with Tampa Bay, now can play for the Crunch without passing through waivers.
Times staff writer Damian Cristodero contributed to this report.