The union and the NHL could meet again later Wednesday after the league looks over the proposal.
The NHL had presented the players with a counteroffer Tuesday night.
Commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday that the league had told the union a deal needs to be in place by Jan. 11 so a 48-game season can begin eight days later. All games through Jan. 14 have been canceled, claiming more than 50 percent of the original schedule.
Wednesday night is the deadline for the players' association to declare a "disclaimer of interest," which would dissolve the union and make it a trade association. That would allow players to file antitrust lawsuits against the NHL.
If the deadline passes, union members could vote again to authorize their board to file a disclaimer at a later date.
"The players retain their option and it's an internal matter," players' association executive director Donald Fehr said.