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Nothing to fear but Fehr itself

Well, the storm clouds that have been hanging over our summer just got a lot darker. According to commish Gary Bettman the league will indeed lock out the players if no deal is reached before the old CBA expires on September 15th. A poll and more after the jump...

Bettman dropped the not so surprising (to me at least) bit of news this afternoon after the latest round of talks wrapped up. So much for the misguided notion that some people were under, thinking that we might have hockey under last season's rules if no new deal was reached but progress was being made. Now that the NHL has drawn a line in the sand maybe a greater sense of urgency will be shown especially on the players side. While I'm all for Donald Fehr getting face time with the NHLPA members who summer in Europe, I have to wonder if he's ever heard of Skype or phone conferencing. It's been over three weeks since the NHL made it's ridiculous opening offer. The NHLPA has had enough time and should have been prepared enough to respond with some sort of counter so the real negotiating could have begun. As a fan, all this wasted time is really galling especially from a league which lost an entire season the last time around. Both sides are to blame but it's past time for the union to get this process going by making a counter offer. The countdown begins...

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