AP Source: NHL now focusing on mid-January season start date

Time has all but run out on the NHL's hope to start the season Jan. 1, with the league and NHL Players' Association now focusing their discussions on opening play in mid-January, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press on Friday. The two sides still need to agree on a schedule, with the current working plan featuring between 52 and 56 regular-season games. Without going into detail, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The AP ''various similar concepts are being discussed'' when asked about the 52- or 56-game schedule and mid-January start.