The NHL is believed to be one step away from calling off another season.

The league has cancelled games through Jan. 14, bringing the total number wiped away by the lockout to 625.

That takes the NHL to the point where it must have a new collective bargaining agreement in place to salvage a 48-game schedule and playoffs that conclude by the end of June, something commissioner Gary Bettman has been adamant about.

The league and NHL Players’ Association haven’t met since last week.

On Wednesday night, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said the union was willing to meet at any point but is waiting for the owners to resume talks.

In 2004-05, the NHL became the first professional sports league in North America to cancel an entire season because of a labour dispute.