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NHL and union chat by phone, but still have no plans to resume in-person labour negotiations

FILE - Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHL Players Association, speaks to reporters about on going labor talks with the league outside the NHL headquarters in New York, in this July 31, 2012 file photo. Donald Fehr and the players' association are ready to get back to the bargaining table at any moment. They are now just waiting for the NHL to feel the same way. \

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FILE - Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHL Players Association, speaks to reporters about on going labor talks with the league outside the NHL headquarters in New York, in this July 31, 2012 file photo. Donald Fehr and the players' association are ready to get back to the bargaining table at any moment. They are now just waiting for the NHL to feel the same way. \"(We aren't talking) because the owners have not indicated a desire to resume,\" the NHLPA's executive director said Wednesday night Dec. 19, 2012 before a charity hockey game. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and players' association special counsel Steve Fehr spoke on the telephone but still haven't made plans to meet face to face.

There has been very little contact this week between the sides. Daly and Fehr held a conversation Saturday, the 98th day of the lockout that is threatening to wipe out the entire hockey season.

All games through Jan. 14 have already been called off, and if a new collective bargaining agreement isn't reached by then, the remainder of the schedule could be cancelled, too. So far, 625 games—more than 50 per cent of the schedule—have been wiped out, along with the Winter Classic and the All-Star game.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says he doesn't want a season shorter than 48 games per team, the amount played after a lockout ended in 1995. The full 2004-05 season was lost to a lockout.

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