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The current contract was agreed to in 2005, and Bob Goodenow resigned as union head two weeks later. After stints by Ted Saskin and Paul Kelly, the union in 2010 turned to Fehr, who led baseball players through three work stoppages in the 1980s and `90s.

Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller said Fehr is doing a far better job communicating with members than leadership did in the last lockout. The 30 league owners are prohibited by NHL bylaws from publicly commenting about negotiations.

“I doubt that all the owners are as well informed as all the players,” Miller said. “I don’t know if that’s going to get me in trouble or not. I just feel like it’s kind of whatever they are told by Gary. I guess it’s a little bit like politics. … You have this whole thing where I’m sure they feel like a lot of what we’re saying is spin.”

Players struck in April 1992, causing 30 games to be postponed.

This would be the third lockout under Bettman. The 1994-95 lockout ended after 103 days and the cancellation of 468 games. The most recent lockout was finally settled in July 2005 _ 301 days into the work stoppage and a month after the league would usually have awarded the Stanley Cup.

“The players very much want to reach an agreement, provided that it is one which is fair and which is equitable and treats them appropriately,” Donald Fehr said.

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AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds in Coral Springs, Fla., contributed to this report.