NEW YORK -- The NHL and NHL Players' Association continue to exchange information on the latest offer from the owners in collective bargaining negotiations.

The sides resumed speaking on Sunday morning as the NHLPA sought clarification on various aspects of the comprehensive proposal tabled earlier this week.

There was still hope that the league and union might resume formal bargaining later in the day or on Monday, although nothing concrete had been scheduled.

The league's latest offer was emailed from commissioner Gary Bettman to NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr on Thursday night and included movement on contract rules along with the introduction of compliance buyouts for the first time during these negotiations.

It also called for US$300 million in deferred transition payments to the players, something the league had taken off the table when talks broke down on Dec. 6. The sides haven't sat across from one another and bargained since.

There is added urgency to get back to the table with time running short to save a shortened 48-game season.

As part of the NHL's new proposal, Bettman told the union that an agreement would have to be in place by Jan. 11. That would allow training camps to open Jan. 12 and the puck to be dropped for the season on Jan. 19.

The 106-day lockout has forced the cancellation of 625 games and is now the second longest in league history. In 1994-95, the lockout lasted 103 days before an agreement was reached. The labour dispute that wiped out the entire 2004-05 season spanned 301 days.