This Thursday is the drop dead date put forth by the NHL in which a deal must be signed before the 2012-13 season is shortened. IT doesn’t look good. Whatever optimism was there last week was quickly squelched when ownership glibly dismissed the NHLPA’s counterproposals.
At this point, European players are finding playing close to home to be more comfortable, especially those that have now been locked out twice. Going overseas may not be a workable solution for North American players, but for Euros, it’s an open market. Going to where the money is, where the guaranteed work is, is a fantastic idea.
In North America, the Players Association is much stronger than it was 7 years ago, and even then, an entire season was lost. If the players are resolute, and the union remains strong under the guidance of good guidance, can they get the owners to break? If the owners are as dedicated to overhauling the CBA as they were 7 years ago, that’s not going to happen.
Based on the anecdotal evidence, it doesn’t seem like the sides are further apart than they were 7 years ago, but the animosity is greater and the sides are more deeply dug in. It’s going to be a long time before I have something good to write about. A full season certainly isn’t one of those things.