The NHL Players' Association officials responded to the league's latest offer during a one-hour meeting Wednesday at the league's New York headquarters. The league said that it's reviewing the players' union response and that another meeting later Wednesday remained a possibility. No details of the meeting were made available by either side. The league and the players have exchanged proposals four times while attempting to reach an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. Talks have heated up during the past week as the two sides work to avert the loss of the entire season. If a deal is made soon, there is hope that a 48-game season would start by Jan. 19. Contract term limits, variances on individual contracts, player pensions and salary-cap compliance rules remain the sticking points. Players apparently have compromised on the length of the collective-bargaining agreement, saying they would accept the league's 10-year proposal under certain conditions. The union previously sought a shorter CBA. The NHL lockout began Sept. 16 and has wiped out the first three months of the season and the All-Star game.
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