One day after the NHLPA decided against declaring a disclaimer of interest before a midnight deadline in the current CBA talks with the NHL, the players have begun voting to give their executive board the authority once again to make the move if they so desire.
Voting began at 6pm et and will be completed over the next 48 hours.
According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, the Players voted on Wednesday to give NHLPA executive director Don Fehr full authority to decide on the Disclaimer option before Wednesday's original midnight deadline. Fehr evidently decided against using it.
A smaller group of NHLPA staff and players attended an afternoon meeting, including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr. Then, a small group of players returned in the evening for a meeting with the mediator regarding pensions and the league also met separately with the mediator. Negotiations with mediation are set to continue at 10am et on Friday.
The NHLPA spent Thursday morning updating its full membership on the state of the negotiations and then, according to TSN hockey analyst Aaron Ward, they held a conference call at 5pm et to provide a further update.
Ward reported the first meeting on Thursday dealt with the NHL changing penalties for 'hiding' Hockey Related Revenue. The issue has now been resolved. The NHL has gone back to its original language on HRR after they changed the language this week. Severe penalties will still apply to 'hiding' HRR.
Dreger reports that the second-year salary cap is still a pressing topic as the players are looking for $65 million, while the NHL remains committed to a $60 million cap.
Additional issues such as terms on contracts and pension remain the most significant "open" issues, according to Dreger. Pension experts are joining the talks to deal with the issues.
TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com says that the NHL has upped its compliance buyout offer to two players per team, up from one prior to the 2013-14 season.
However, the buyouts would still count against the players' share, which the Players' Association disapproves of. They prefer that the dollars were outside the system.
Thursday is Day 110 of the lockout. There are eight days left before the deadline of Jan. 11 set by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to have a deal in place to save the season. Bettman has said that in order to allow a 48-game season, training camps need to open by Jan. 12 to allow the puck to drop on a shortened season by Jan. 19.
According to TSN legal analyst Eric Macramalla, the NHLPA also filed its response to the NHL's lawsuit on Thursday, where the league asked the Court to declare the lockout valid if the NHLPA dissolved. As well, the NHL wanted the Court to declare that the player contracts were all void if the NHLPA dissolved.
Read the NHLPA's response here.