The NHL Players' Association's executive board faces a deadline to file a disclaimer of interest.
On December 21, a majority of NHL players voted in favour of empowering the board to file a disclaimer with the league, after which the union would cease to represent the players in collective bargaining talks with the league.
Should that happen, the players will be free to file antitrust suits and bring the lockout dispute to the court.
The ongoing stalemate between owners and players over how to divide the league's $3.3 billion revenue has resulted in all of the early league's matches being scrapped.
According to an earlier deal, players were awarded 57 percent of the hockey-related revenue. Following the expiration of the agreement, however, the NHL expressed a wish to see that number lowered to below 50 percent, leading to fierce resistance on behalf of the players' association and month-long collective bargaining talks.
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