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      NHL players union could be a thing of the past

      NHL players are a step closer to dissolving their union.

      The Canadian Press says NHL Players' Association members voted this week to give the union's executive board the power to file a "disclaimer of interest" until Jan. 2.

      The union declines comment, saying it's an internal matter.

      If the executive board files the disclaimer, the union will dissolve and become a trade association. That would allow players to file antitrust lawsuits against the NHL.

      Negotiations between the league and union have been at a standstill since talks ended Dec. 6. The NHLPA now appears set to follow the lead set by NFL and NBA players. Both dissolved their unions during lockouts last year.

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