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Mediator pulls NHL, players' union together for small group meeting

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A federal mediator pulled representatives from the National Hockey League and the players' union back together for the first time in two days after talks to end the NHL lockout fell apart, The Associated Press reports.

Mediator Scot Beckenbaugh, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly traveled to the players' union headquarters for a "small group meeting," a players' spokesman said.

The meeting came after Beckenbaugh spent 12 hours Friday walking back and forth between Manhattan headquarters of each side -- accomplishing just enough to keep the talks going, The AP reports.

When the two sides met on Wednesday, Bettman said an agreement had to be reached by Jan. 11 or the entire season would be cancelled.

Bettman said during a meeting on New Year's Day that the league would have to "drop the puck by Jan. 19" in order to play a minimum 48-game season.

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