The NHL Players' Association has tabled a new proposal that it hopes will end the lockout.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr says the players have "responded comprehensively" to the issues that had been the focus of meetings over the last couple of days.
Those issues include player pensions and transition payments.
Fehr says he believes the gap between the two sides can be bridged and that the proposal the players presented is "a clear outline" to end the dispute.
He says the union presented an eight-year proposal with an option for opting out after Year 6.
The league has not commented on the proposal.
The news comes after the two sides held bargaining sessions Tuesday and Wednesday that stretched well into the wee hours.
The sides returned to the table for about an hour Thursday night with a much smaller group than the one that met the previous two days.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly and general counsel Bob Batterman represented the league while Fehr and special counsel Steve Fehr sat in for the union along with a group of players.
None of the six league owners who were part of marathon sessions Tuesday and Wednesday took part.
Four members of that group — Pittsburgh's Ron Burkle, Tampa's Jeff Vinik, Toronto's Larry Tanenbaum and Winnipeg's Mark Chipman — were considered moderates who travelled to New York in an effort to broker a deal.