(KSDK Sports) -- They are cutting out the middle men in the latest round of NHL labor talks.
The players and the owners are going face-to-face. Commissioner Gary Bettman was not invited. The gathering is taking place today in New York.
Six owners are in attendance along with 18 players, including Blues forwards David Backes and Andy McDonald and former Blue, B.J. Crombeen.
Neither NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman nor NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr will be in the room, although both are at the Westin Times Square Hotel. Bettman had suggested the owners-players-only meeting last week after federal mediators failed to bring the sides closer together.
The meeting comes at a critical time because the 80-day-old lockout has resulted in the cancellation of 422 regular-season games, plus the Winter Classic and All-Star weekend. The board of governors will meet Wednesday in New York.
The six owners taking part are Jeremy Jacobs (Boston Bruins), Murray Edwards (Calgary Flames), Ron Burkle (Pittsburgh), Jeff Vinik (Tampa Bay Lightning), Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Mark Chipman (Winnipeg Jets).
The last four owners are new to the process. Jacobs and Edwards are part of the NHL's negotiating committee. Heading into Tuesday's meeting, the sides remained $182 million apart on honoring existing contracts while splitting revenue 50-50. They also were divided on individual player contract rights.
The Westin is the same place where Bettman announced the cancellation of the 2004-05 season on Feb. 16, 2005, because of a dispute over whether the league should institute a salary cap.
The full list of players (in alphabetical order):
Craig Adams, David Backes, Michael Cammalleri, Sidney Crosby, B.J. Crombeen, Mathieu Darche, Shane Doan, Ron Hainsey, Shawn Horcoff, Jamal Mayers, Manny Malhotra, Andy McDonald, Ryan Miller, George Parros, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Jonathan Toews and Kevin Westgarth.