The divide between the NHL owners and players on a new collective bargaining agreement is significant and the threat of another lockout will become increasingly real if the two sides can’t close the wide gap between their proposals during negotiating sessions Wednesday and Thursday in Toronto.

There are just 25 days left to Sept. 15 — the date in which Commissioner Gary Bettman has promised to lock the players out if a new CBA is not reached. Training camps are slated to start the very next day and there is strong belief that there will be no NHL hockey until December — or later.

As a member of the Ducks for only a month, Daniel Winnik is playing a much more important role these days as a member of the negotiation committee for the players’ union. And he is optimistic that common ground can be reached before the day of reckoning.

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