A representative from the NHL and the players' union met Thursday but failed to make any progress during the 89th day of the lockout.

Steve Fehr, special counsel for the NHL Players' Association, and NHL attorney Bob Batterman met with a federal mediator in Iselin, N.J.

No talks have been scheduled, and even President Obama expressed frustration.

In an interview with WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, Obama said: "My message to owners and to players is, 'You guys make a lot of money and you make a lot of money on the backs of fans, so do right by your fans. You can figure out how to spread out a bunch of revenue that you're bringing in . . . And I shouldn't have to be involved in a dispute between really wealthy players and even wealthier owners. They should be able to settle this themselves. And remember who it is that's putting all that money in their pockets."

The NHL wants the union to agree to a five-year maximum on player contracts (seven years for a team to re-sign its own player), a 10-year collective-bargaining agreement, and no amnesty buyouts or escrow caps in the first year.

The players want an eight-year maximum on player contracts and an eight-year CBA. They are pushing for amnesty buyouts and do not want escrow caps.

Games through Dec. 30 have been canceled.

Holmstrom surgery. Adirondack Phantoms captain Ben Holmstrom, a center who played five games with the Flyers last season, will undergo surgery on his right knee and will be sidelined for an indefinite period, the club said.