The first day of the year could be a long one for the NHL and its players' association.
The sides were scheduled to begin small group meetings and conference calls at noon today to discuss the counteroffer presented by the players Monday. Full in-person bargaining is expected to begin around 5 p.m.
Time is running out to salvage part of the 2012-13 season.
"What we've said is we need to drop the puck by Jan. 19 if we're going to play a 48-game season," Commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday. "We don't think it makes sense to play a season that is any shorter than that."