Jan 02, 2013

By Michael Kramer

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The NHL’s labour talks are now shrouded in secrecy but  a barometer of where things stand is  expected to arrive today  in the form of a self-imposed deadline for the NHL Players’ Association.

The union’s executive board has until just before midnight Eastern time to decide whether it will file a “disclaimer of interest” that would see the NHLPA dissolved while introducing even more uncertainty to the negotiation process.

Players voted unanimously last month to give the 30-member committee the authority to file the disclaimer on their behalf. It was believed that if they let Wednesday’s deadline pass it would be a sign that talks are on the right track although another vote could still be held to restore the executive board’s power in the future.

In the meantime, representatives from the NHL and the union met for about an hour this  afternoon at the league’s office. The NHLPA presented a new proposal during the session and the league will review it before the two sides get back together, likely this  evening.

The  league has set a January 11 deadline to preserve a 48-game season and there is still   hope that 52 games could be squeezed in if an agreement is  reached this week.

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