The NHL and NHL Players' Association are hoping some objective voices can help bring an end to their labour dispute.

With negotiations stalled on a new collective bargaining agreement, the sides have agreed to allow U.S. federal mediators into the process -- something they tried without success on a couple of occasions prior to the cancellation of the 2004-05 season.

"While we have no particular level of expectation going into this process, we welcome a new approach in trying to reach a resolution of the ongoing labour dispute at the earliest possible date," deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Monday.


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