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“None of those comments were a surprise to me,” Daly said. “If that is the direction they choose to go in, that’s up to them. I don’t make the decisions for them. They’ve suggested they want to get the players back on the ice soon. I can pretty much assure you if they make that proposal, it won’t get the players back on the ice soon.”

If discussions don’t get jump-started soon, more games will be wiped out.

For now, Daly and the NHL just want to hear something new from the union.

“We’re trying to think of ideas to move the process forward,” he said. “Our message to the players’ association was we’re encouraging them to make a proposal. We hear, we understand that they have been working on some concepts, some ideas. We’ve suggested to them to just make the proposal.

“Any movement is better than no movement at all. If we move sideways, hopefully we move it forward. But even if we move backward, it might be better than where we are now.”

These were the first negotiations since the sides held an unannounced meeting in Toronto on Friday to discuss where they were and how to advance the talks.

Last week, the NHL canceled _ at least temporarily _ 82 games from Thursday through Oct. 24.

Daly estimated the NHL lost $100 million from the cancellation of the entire preseason and another $140 million to $150 million with the regular-season losses.

“It’s unfortunate for both of us,” he said. “It’s a significant amount of money that the players share in on a significant basis. Whatever that percentage ends up being, it’s a significant basis.

“Even more disappointing from our collective perspective is we felt like over the last seven years we’ve built up a lot of momentum in the business. We’ve had a lot of growth, and who knows what a work stoppage from this will do to our momentum.”

One victory was achieved by the NHL on Wednesday when the Alberta Labor Relations Board ruled that the lockout of players from the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames can continue.

The board said declaring the lockout illegal in the province wouldn’t help the league and its players reach a settlement. The players had argued that the Oilers and Flames are Alberta businesses and as such, must abide by provincial labor rules.