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NHL labor talks stay focused on small matters

From Staff And Wire Reports

NHL: NHL labor talks will resume today, with both sides still focusing on secondary matters and not the core economic issues that continue to divide owners and players in a league-imposed lockout entering its third week.

The NHL confirmed that talks were set to resume in New York.

Negotiators for the league and NHL Players’ Association are expected to pick up where they left off Sunday, when they completed three straight days of discussions. The talks focused on secondary issues, such as what should define hockey-related revenue, as well as player health and safety.

Though both sides have made progress during the latest series of discussions, they’ve failed to make much of a dent in determining how to split up more than $3 billion in league revenues between owners and players.

No alks are scheduled beyond today.

U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, Democrats from New Jersey, sent a letter to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Don Fehr urging them to consider the economic impact on their state if the dispute is not resolved.

Harden hopes for extension with Thunder

NBA: NBA Sixth Man of the Year James Harden is holding out hope that he’ll reach terms on a contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder by the end of the month.

Harden said at the team’s preseason media day that he’s willing to sacrifice to make it work and he’s focused on “hooping,” and not on the contract negotiations.

General manager Sam Presti has repeatedly said the team would like to have Harden back but the reality of the situation includes a tough decision involving plenty of financial issues.

Harden says his agent, Rob Pelinka, and the Thunder both know how important it is to him to try and get a deal done.

• Bynum out three weeks with knee condition: Andrew Bynum’s anticipated Philadelphia 76ers’ debut is on hold.

One day before training camp, the Sixers announced they would shut down their new franchise All-Star for three weeks as a precaution after he received knee treatment in Germany.

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