NHL players say they are getting a better grasp on the issues at hand as the union braces for negotiations with owners on a new collective bargaining agreement.
For the 53 players in attendance, Tuesday was an educational day. They broke off into three groups to study the issues and share their ideas as they try to hammer out a strategy before formal talks begin.
Washington Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer says the players ''had a lot of good discussions about where our priorities are.''
The players have been meeting in Chicago, where three days of meetings are scheduled to wrap up on Wednesday. The union is expected to then announce which players will serve on the negotiating committee.
The current CBA, that ended the yearlong lockout in July 2005, expires on Sept. 15.