The NHL announced more cancellations Thursday, eliminating games through Jan. 14. And though deputy commissioner Bill Daly would not characterize it as such in an email, the next step would be canceling the entire season should the league and the players’ association be unable to come to an agreement on a new CBA by the first week of the new year.

"[We] will let the announcement stand on its own," Daly wrote to Newsday. The NHL has canceled 625 of the 1,350 games scheduled.

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If the league were to begin on Jan. 15, reports say the most games that could be played would be a 48-game season, the same number that the NHL played in 1995 after a lockout. Commissioner Gary Bettman said after the breakdown of labor talks on Dec. 6 that the league would not accept anything less than a 48-game season.

Daly also said there was no contact between the two sides yesterday. Since talks with a federal mediator present broke off on Dec. 13, there has been only minimal contact. A players' vote to allow the union's executive board to file a disclaimer of interest -- a move to dissolve the union -- ends Friday.