Don Fehr and the rest of the NHLPA's leadership are still representing NHL players in CBA talks following a midnight deadline for the union to file a disclaimer of interest. The move would have dissolved the union as a bargaining entity and would have opened up the doors for players to file antitrust lawsuits against the league.
The NHLPA has yet to announce officially whether or not they have disclaimed interest, but news that the sides are still talking past the deadline is a strong indication that the union has not filed the disclaimer.
I'm told the NHL and NHLPA are still meeting at this time.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 3, 2013
The league had said, according to Sportsnet, that a union disclaimer of interest would have led to the full cancellation of the 2012-13 season. It's unsure whether or not that was an empty threat aimed at discouraging the NHLPA from making the move. The NHL had also indicated that unlike during the NBA lockout a year ago, NHL owners would not be willing to negotiate with Don Fehr following a disclaimer of interest.
The deadline doesn't mean that the union can't file the motion at a later date. In order to do so, however, they'd have to return to their full membership for a vote that would again give the executive board the permission to file the disclaimer of interest.
For now, however, the simple fact that the NHLPA is still at the table deep into the night is a positive sign that CBA negotiations continue to progress.