An NHL lockout seems imminent after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman received a unanimous vote from owners on Thursday in support of imposing a lockout if no agreement is reached on a new collective bargaining agreement by midnight ET Saturday, ESPN.com reported.
Bettman had the authority to order a lockout without the owners' approval, but this vote indicated their support for the league's stance.
Meanwhile, union head Donald Fehr, backed by 283 players who attended Thursday's session, said at a news conference that the players would like to play while negotiations continue with owners.
That seems unlikely, however.
No additional meetings are scheduled before Saturday, although the sides can continue to negotiate in the meantime.
In a demonstration of solidarity, a large contingent of players attended Thursday's meeting, including stars such as Sidney Crosby, Henrik Lundqvist, Zdeno Chara, Claude Giroux, Zach Parise and Daniel Alfredsson.
Fehr said he was surprised and disappointed with the owners' position and their apparent resignation to a shutdown. The NHL's current offer allows for increased revenue sharing with the players, but Fehr said the proposal calls for a 17 percent pay reduction.
Crosby said, "A lockout is kind of what they're looking for."
---Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has agreed to a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings worth $5 million, a St. Louis radio station reported, according to NHL.com
Colaiacovo, an unrestricted free agent, has spent the past four seasons with the St. Louis Blues, but The Fan 590-AM in St. Louis reported Wednesday night that he will be with Detroit this season.
Colaiacovo, 29, had two goals and 17 assists in 64 games with the Blues last season.
---The Columbus Blue Jackets sent 2012 first-round draft pick Ryan Murray back to his junior team, the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League.
Murray was the second pick of this year's NHL Draft and had 31 points in 46 games last season for Everett. At 18 he was the youngest player to skate for Canada at the 2012 World Championship.