Locked out NHL players are set to miss their sixth paycheque of the 2012-13 season today.
The NHL and the Players' Association held a series of conference calls yesterday to review the league's latest proposal -- which spans nearly 300 pages.
The sides made plans to resume the discussions today.
Sources say the NHL wants an agreement in place by January 11th to save an abbreviated 48-game season.
The Players Association executive board also has its eye on Wednesday -- that's the last day it can file a ``disclaimer of interest'' that would see the union dissolved, and allow players to file anti-trust suits against the league.
Meanwhile Don Cherry is worried the NHL Players' Association will push for more after the NHL's latest offer to end the lockout.
The Hockey Night in Canada commentator posted a series of messages to Twitter on Saturday night, relating a conversation he had with one of his friends.
"A few days ago I was talking to a buddy who wants to know what's gonna happen with the lockout,'' said Cherry from his verified Twitter account that has over 100,000 followers. "I tell him we're gonna see who really wants to end this and start the season.
"How come he asks? I said whoever puts in an offer will put himself in a sticky situation because the press and fans will think he has caved in.''
Cherry then noted that on Friday the NHL submitted a nearly 300-page proposal to the union in an effort to end the 105-day lockout.
"Sure enough Bettman comes in with a new offer and yes it looks like he has weakened,'' said Cherry. "In the (Toronto) Sun it's front page and claims Bettman was pressured by the owners. I don't believe that.''
The former head coach of the Boston Bruins and Colorado Rockies went on to discuss an article by Sun columnist Bruce Garrioch.
"Garrioch says an insider said it's not so much the pressure of the executives but it's more to save the season for the fans,'' said Cherry. "So (NHL commissioner Gary) Bettman has put himself in a situation just made for (NHLPA executive director Donald) Fehr. He knew when he put in the offer this would happen.
"But I believe he did it to save the season.''
Added Cherry: "Fehr naturally will say this isn't good enough and squeeze for more. But like I said 2 months ago after the association squeezes the last drop it will be settled. The only dark cloud I see is if the association pushes too hard we could go off a cliff.''
Canada plays the Swiss club Fribourg in the semifinals today at the Spengler Cup (7 am).
Fribourg is boosted by NHL players like David Desharnais of the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider.
The host team, HC Davos, plays the Czech Republic's HC Vitkovice Steel in the other semifinal.
Coach Dwane Casey says the Toronto Raptors weren't trying to run up the score, but his guys were their making shots, in a 128-88 rout of Orlando.
The Raptors had 33 assists, which he says means they were moving the basketball around.
Toronto had its best offensive half of the season, shooting a season-high 58.1 per cent and scoring a season-best 67 points before the intermission.
The Raptors hit nine of their first 10 shots from beyond the three-point line en route to their seventh win in eight games.
The beat goes on for the Bobcats.
The New Orleans Hornets overcame a 21-point first-half deficit and extended Charlotte's losing streak to 18 games, 98-95.
Eric Gordon had 24 points and seven assists for New Orleans in his first game of the season.
Brooklyn is 2-and-0 under interim coach PJ Carlesimo, as Brook Lopez scored 35 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Nets 103-100 win over Cleveland.
Cain Velasquez waited 13 months for the chance to put the UFC heavyweight belt back around his waist.
When he finally got Junior Dos Santos back in the cage, Cain didn't waste another minute.
Velasquez reclaimed the UFC heavyweight title by thoroughly battering Dos Santos on the way to a lopsided unanimous decision in UFC 155.
Velasquez floored the Brazilian champion with a big right hand midway through the first round, and spent most of the match stalking and pounding on Dos Santos, who never fully recovered.
The US military took a beating on the grid iron.
Arizona State scored touchdowns on its first nine possessions, while destroying Navy 62-28 in the Fight Hunger Bowl.
Freshman Driphus Jackson threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns in relief injured starter Taylor McHargue, as Rice beat Air Force 33-14 in the Armed Forces Bowl.
Syracuse plays its home games in a dome, and the Orange felt quite at home on a snow-covered Yankee Stadium, running over West Virginia 38-14.
David Ash threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, the last a 36-yard strike to Marquise Goodwin with 2:24 left, to give Texas its first lead in a 31-27 victory over Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl.
Dan Conroy kicked a 47-yard field goal with 1:01 left, Le'Veon Bell ran for 145 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown, as Michigan State rallied to beat Texas Christian 17-16 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
(The Canadian Press)