NEW YORK (AP) – The NHL and the players’ association concluded 26 hours of small-group meetings on Friday and will meet again Monday in Toronto.

The two sides met over four days in New York, marking the sixth straight week of discussions.

“There was healthy dialogue and progress continued to be made on many operational issues relating to a new collective bargaining agreement,” league vice president Bill Daly said Friday in a statement. “We will resume meeting early next week.”

Last week, the sides held 34 hours of talks over three days in Toronto. Those talks were called productive, and the hope is that momentum will continue to build toward an agreement that would end the lockout that started last September and wiped out the entire 2004-05 NHL season.

“We spent the last four days in small group meetings continuing to review and negotiate various systemic and economic issues,” players’ association senior director Ted Saskin said in a statement.

. “The two sides will resume small group discussions on Monday in Toronto.”


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