- Associated Press - Thursday, January 3, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal mediator rejoined negotiations between the NHL and the players’ association that stretched into the early hours of Thursday morning but still haven’t produced a deal to get hockey back on the ice.

After a series of meetings during the day Wednesday, the sides reconvened at night and were together until nearly 1 a.m.

The biggest news to come out of the talks was that the union didn’t inform the NHL that it was filing a disclaimer of interest before a self-imposed midnight deadline. Commissioner Gary Bettman said the topic never came up in discussions between the sides.

The sides were asked by the mediator to return to the bargaining table Thursday morning.

Neither side would characterize the talks or address what, if any, progress has been made.

Bettman has told the union that a deal must be in place by Jan. 11 in order for a 48-game season to be played beginning eight days later.

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