|Cleary doesn't foresee anybody giving in. You know what that means. (Getty Images)|
Most people have felt for a long time that the NHL was going to go through a lockout but it wouldn't be like last time and cost the NHL a whole season. Things are going too well for the sport at the moment for that to happen.
Don't count Danny Cleary among those people.
The Red Wings forward spoke to the Detroit Free-Press about the lockout and let's just say he isn't giving wishful fans much hope.
"I think people don't think it can go a year," Cleary said after several Wings held an independent skate at Troy Sports Center. "As players, we think it can. Maybe longer."
"Just trying to be realistic," Cleary said. "I think the league is waiting for us to make the move, and we're waiting for them to move. So someone has to move. And I don't see it coming from our end. We've given them a couple of good options that they can work with, and they, obviously, feel it's not good enough.
"We're at a stalemate, I guess you can say. We're stuck in the middle right now."
He also confirmed what he probably didn't need to say, that there's "no way" the season starts on time.
It's really dumbfounding how we got to this point. This lockout is nothing like the last one that gave hockey the dubious honor of being the first major North American sport to cancel an entire season. The contentiousness shouldn't be anywhere near as high without revolutionary changes being proposed like the implementation of a salary cap.
But this lockout is also way different because the players have resolve this time, they have strong leadership. They are holding firm in their beliefs and seem to have the strength and unity to not give up their ground. Considering the owners are naturally in a position of power we have a standoff to get to this point where doom and gloom is the dish of the day.
Just reading what Cleary has to say further underscores to me that this is as much a staring contest as anything else it seems. Nobody wants to give in so they will keep their eyes open until they dry out and maybe even then they won't consider blinking. If you didn't know any better you would think they weren't squabbling over something like how to split up $3.3 billion.