The NHL owners are not doing themselves a favor if they lock themselves out – they are also taking the fans for granted if they think that their bottom line won’t suffer more from having a work stoppage. The fans remember that not too long ago there was a lost season. In case anyone is counting - this would be the third work stoppage under the tutelage of Gary Bettman – that there was a work stoppage – the fans don’t have short memories.
That being said there is some home – not all is lost – the fact that the NHL makes a boat load of money off of the Winter Classic gives the owners some incentive to get a deal done before the "whole" season is squandered away and the work stoppage start cutting into their precious bottom line and their 3.3 billion dollars profit that they experienced this past season.
David Shoalts, The Globe and Mail --- Now that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has ripped the scales of optimism from too many eyes, the only question is: How long will the lockout be?
Will it wipe out an entire season like the owners did in 2004-05 to get the salary-cap system they now say is impossible to work under? Or will the players and owners get a new collective agreement in time to save the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, the event that kicks off the NHL's U.S. television coverage and mega-millions payout from NBC?
Either unpalatable outcome is possible. The players and owners are oceans apart on the key, and perhaps only, issue - whether the money needed to close the gap between the league's rich and not-so-rich teams has to come out of the players' pockets or through revenue sharing.