This is just posturing by the players. We will see it until midnight on September 15, because both sides want to make each other cave. There will be no serious discussions until the 11th hour. That’s how it works in every negotiation. Whether it’s with the NHLPA or the Plumbers Union. While we could see half the season or so lost, Gary Betman and Bob Nicholson are not stupid. The league depends on casual fans, and they are already losing many. If there is a long work stoppage, these people will find another way to spend their money and they will forget about the NHL. The league cannot survive with even less casual viewers than they already have in the US, and both sides know that. I expect to see posturing from both sides until Sept. 15. This is nothing new.
However, if those 2 people prove me wrong and turn out to be stupid and force a long work stoppage, they will single handedly wreck the NHL. While hockey will still survive in Canada, the NHL cannot operate without the States.