The NHL and NHLPA appear to be inching closer to a deal.
The NHL and NHLPA went a second straight day without a formal in-person negotiating session, although the two sides remain engaged in mediation.
The NHLPA began another vote to reauthorize the executive board the right to disclaim interest, a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com, as the union and league spent Thursday without any formal labor negotiations.
The self-imposed midnight deadline for the NHLPA to file a disclaimer of interest, which would dissolve the union, came and passed Wednesday evening as negotiations continued into Thursday morning.
The NHL and NHLPA resumes informational discussions Sunday, although there was no formal bargaining sessions scheduled yet, a source said.
Relations between the NHL and NHLPA have yet to thaw since Friday, when the league made a preemptive strike to send the lockout battle to the courts.
The NHL has canceled all games through Dec. 30.
The latest round of NHL labor talks broke down Thursday when the league rejected the players' proposal of an eight-year collective bargaining agreement.
The NHL and NHLPA exchanged "proposals" to potentially end the lockout Wednesday following the previous day's marathon session, multiple sources confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.
Multiple sources told ESPNNewYork.com that there appears to be cautious optimism from both the league and the union as a result of Tuesday's marathon session between the two sides.
So much for the "moratorium" on talks now that the NHL and NHLPA resumed collective bargaining discussions Monday evening, the first formal negotiating between the two sides in over a week.
The NHL and NHL Players' Association met briefly Sunday in a failed attempt to tackle player contracting issues, leaving little hope a labor deal will be reached soon.
Any mounting optimism from four straight days of labor talks between the NHL and NHLPA seemed to abate as negotiations went sour between the two sides Friday.
The NHLPA made two offers during Wednesday's negotiating session, a source told ESPNNewYork.com, and is awaiting the league's response during Thursday's talks.
NHL owners and players are back at the bargaining table for the second straight day.
After more than seven hours of negotiations, the NHL and NHLPA ended a lengthy day back at the bargaining table with plans to meet again Wednesday, the NHLPA announced.