This is Day 25 of the NHL lockout, 2012 edition. Every day, we'll serve up some CBA talk and help you get your hockey fix. Let's begin, shall we?
• The lockout has eaten up a total of 179 games -- 97 preseason games and most recently 82 regular-season games.
• On Tuesday, it was reported that the longer the lockout goes, the more likely the NHLPA is to go after the salary cap in negotiations, as in trying to get rid of it. If that happens, then all bets are off the table. The owners could respond by going after guaranteed contracts. As Chris Stevenson writes, that could even improve the game (whenever it returns).
You don't think there would be just a slight uptick in that player's performance in the middle of a four- or six-year contract if there was the chance come, say, July 1, the owner signing his paycheque had the option of walking away from the deal and letting the player become an unrestricted free agent? (Toronto Sun)
• Of course, should the talk about nixing the salary cap and ending guaranteed contracts come up, we're looking at a looooooooong lockout. But hockey gods, please don't let it be as long as Gary Lawless thinks it could be.
Can a 24-month lockout be possible? You bet. What the game will look like and what will be left to fight over when that is said and done is unknown. But don't think it can't happen. (Winnipeg Free-Press)
• One reason why we could be looking at such a long and crushing lockout ahead of us is the two sides can't agree on how to attack the hockey-related revenue split. OK, that's pretty much the reason. The owners simply want a reduction in the players' share while they have rejected the players' suggestion of more revenue sharing to help each other out. David Shoalts can't understand why the owners aren't more amenable to this. It would be nice if they were.
By their own admission, the owners need each other to have a healthy league -- they are so stubborn about keeping the Phoenix Coyotes from moving, they have paid the team's bills for three years -- but they seem to have no interest in creating a system that would insure the NHL gets healthy and stays that way. (Globe & Mail)
• Are you still having a hard time believing that we're even going through this again? The answer is probably yes and no. Yes because they are just stupid to allow it to have gotten this bad, but no because this was so predictable. Just another case of the NHL testing patience of the fans, but this time they might not like the response as much. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• It's a rather simple question: Could the lockout actually benefit a team like the Nashville Predators? Consider this seems to be a fight for the "little guys," then maybe it will still be worth it. At some point, though, there is probably a point of diminishing returns. (The Tennessean)
• One unforeseen casualty of a longer lockout that wipes out the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich.? It could delay Washington, DC's own designs on getting the Winter Classic. Ted Starkey says the vision of announcing the 2014 U.S. Olympic team in the shadows of the Capitol is getting blurrier by the day. (SB Nation DC)
Since we went with one of the best lowlights from last season on Tuesday, it's only fair we do that again from a past season. Craig Wilson's empty-net miss didn't feel anywhere near as bad as Patrik Stefan's when his empty-net miss led to this injury to insult.