NEW YORK, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- The NHL and representatives of locked-out players plan to resume informal discussions this weekend, ESPN reported Saturday.
The broadcaster, citing unnamed sources, said league officials and the NHL Players Association talked via conference calls about a recent league proposal Saturday in preparation for informational discussions Sunday.
It has been more than two weeks since the two sides met face-to-face and no official bargaining sessions had yet been scheduled as hopes for avoiding a total cancellation of the 2012-13 NHL season hang in the balance.
The NHL offered a proposal Thursday that included some concessions on buyout rules, contract term limits and salary variance.
In it, the league set a Jan. 11 deadline to reach a new labor deal, after which the remainder of the season would be canceled. It envisions a one-week training camp with the first games set for Jan. 19.