The NHLPA moved one step closer to disbanding the union with a preliminary vote toward disclaiming interest, and the league fired back with a pre-emptive strike of its own as the two sides appear to be headed for a nasty court battle.

Upon learning the NHLPA's executive board voted Thursday night potentially to dissolve the union, the NHL filed a class-action complaint in federal court as well as a Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the National Labor Relations Board.