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There's hope as NHL, players union still talking

As the National Hockey League lockout extended to a 54th day, the league reportedly was considering two proposals from Players Association on Thursday for a new collective bargaining agreement.

The offers hinged on giving the NHL a new revenue-sharing structure and a "make whole" concept to honor existing player contracts, according to an ESPN.com. report.

The league would get a three-year "phase-in" window with "make-whole contracts" in order to reach a 50-50 split in hockey revenues, ESPN.com reported, citing a source.

Key negotiators from both sides, including commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, began meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday as talks continued for third consecutive day. The sides hoped to salvage a season as talks were being held at an undisclosed New York City location.

Regular-season games have already been cancelled through Nov. 30, and it would take 10 days to start the season after an agreement is reached.

Hope remains that that a shortened schedule could start by Dec. 1, but real progress must happen soon.

The sides have bargained for more than 20 hours in the past week, including a seven-hour session Tuesday and a five-hour session Wednesday.

The talks were rekindled last weekend with a secretive meeting between Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr.

According to Daly, $720 million in hockey revenue has been lost this season, including income from the annual outdoor Winter Classic, which was cancelled last week.

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