National Hockey League (NHL) owners and players appear no closer to ending a lockout that could wipe out an entire season after working with US federal mediators for a second consecutive day on Thursday.

The mediators and NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) Executive Director Donald Fehr were back at the table Thursday but, unlike Wednesday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly did not participate.

"There has been contact between the parties today," NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr, who said he spoke with lead NHL counsel Bob Batterman, told reporters.

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