Team owners have wiped out 625 games through January 14, just over half the planned schedule that was to have started in October, and vow they will not stage a season with less than 48 games per team, requiring a mid-January deal.
Players, who were paid 57 percent of revenues under the old deal, have moved closer to the 50-50 split found in other North American sports, but want owners to increase the amount of shared revenue from strong teams to bolster the fortunes of owners pleading poverty under the previous system.
Ice hockey fans, who returned from the prior lockout in record-setting numbers, have lost half a season because rich players and richer owners cannot hammer out a way to divide $3.3 billion in annual revenues.
Players have approved decertifying the NHL Players Association as a union to allow players to file US anti-trust lawsuits against NHL club owners, although that move has not yet been made.
Forget the fiscal cliff, we're talking about the very real prospect of the end of pro hockey here in North America. Two lost seasons out of nine when you're arguing about who gets the tens of millions the fans give you to play, and you don't play two entire seasons in a decade because you can't decide who should get even more millions, in this economy?
The entire league can go straight to hell.
Sorry, NHL. Columbus Bluejax tickets being easy to get or no, I'm sticking with minor league hockey from now on. At least the Cincinnati Cyclones take to the ice.
Merry Christmas, you greedy jagoffs.