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NHLPA expected to make new offer Wednesday

NHLPA's Donald Fehr speaks after leaving talks in Toronto on Monday Aug. 13, 2012 as negotiations continue between the NHL and the players union to avoid a potential lockout. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The NHL Players’ Association expects to take at least one more day before responding to the league’s request to see a full proposal in collective bargaining.

The union plans to work internally on Tuesday and could be ready to meet Wednesday, according to a spokesman.

The sides returned to the bargaining table for a 90-minute meeting on Monday night, where the league asked for a comprehensive offer on the split of revenue and player contract rights.

“We’ve never heard a full proposal from them,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said afterwards. “We’ve heard their proposal on economics, they’re still suggesting that they’re moving in our direction on economics. Until we know exactly where they stand on economics … we think it’s all tied together.

“We’d like to hear it all together.”

Another issue the sides need to work out is how they pay for the damage caused by the lockout. In the NHLPA’s most recent offer, which was tabled Nov. 7, the union asked for the players’ share of revenues to jump in fixed increments of 1.75 per cent each season starting from the $1.883-billion they took in last year.

That proposal didn’t include the mechanism that would be used to account for the reduced revenue generated during a shortened 2012-13 season.

The league and union must also find agreement on contract rules. The NHL would like to see entry-level contracts reduced to two years, unrestricted free agency pushed back to age 28 or eight years of service and all deals limited to five years maximum.

So far, the union has only shown a willingness to make system changes that would discourage teams from signing players to long-term, back-diving contracts.

Now into its 10th week, the lockout has already forced the cancellation of all regular-season games through Nov. 30 — and the league is expected to wipe more from the schedule in the coming days. The sides considered taking a break from negotiations last week, but the NHLPA urged the league to continue meeting.

“It’s hard for me to see how you make an agreement if you aren’t talking and so you talk,” said NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr. “Sometimes it doesn’t lead anywhere, perhaps very often it doesn’t lead anywhere, but if you aren’t talking it’s 100 per cent sure it doesn’t lead anywhere.”

How have you been coping with the NHL lockout? Share your thoughts in the comments below.