Union to talk with NHL on Monday

Updated: December 30, 2012, 7:34 PM ET
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- There was no formal negotiating session following Sunday's round of informational discussions between the NHL and NHLPA, but the two sides plan to meet again Monday, according to the union.

After a series of conference calls on Friday to go over the league's latest proposal -- submitted to the union on Thursday evening -- staff members from both the NHL and NHLPA met face-to-face at NHL offices in Manhattan on Sunday. The two sides met for approximately three hours, a source told ESPNNewYork.com, before the union met internally to determine whether to reconvene.

The union's decision to wait to meet until Monday could be an indication that it will come back to the league with a counter-proposal of its own.

Should the NHLPA counter with its own offer, it is possible the union will take issue with the proposed $60 million salary to take effect for the 2013-14 season, a steep decrease from the $70.2 million cap for the 2012-13 season (pro-rated). It is believed that players are concerned with escrow rates as well.

Sunday's face-to-face meeting was the first time the two sides have been in the same room since a failed second attempt at federal mediation over two weeks ago.

The window to salvage the season is narrowing each day that goes by without a new agreement in place.

In the NHL's latest proposal, which featured concessions on term limits, salary variance and amnesty buyouts, the league provided the union with some key dates to save the 2012-13 season.

The league indicated that a deal would have to be in place by Jan. 11, to provide teams with a one-week training camp before what would be slated as the season opener on Jan. 19.

There is another deadline looming for the union as well. The NHLPA has until Wednesday to file a disclaimer of interest, which would essentially dissolve the union. The union membership voted last week -- a vote that passed overwhelmingly -- to authorize the executive board the power to decide.

The league has already canceled all games through Jan. 14, including the annual Winter Classic, which was originally scheduled to take place Monday in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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