Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/17/12 at 01:01 PM ET
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Many hockey observers still believe all of this: the voting on a potential disclaimer of interest and the suits filed in court and with the NLRB is an elaborate final set piece before the two sides breathe deeply and make a deal to save not just some of the current season but maybe the game itself.
Whether or not the past few days are simply part of an ongoing charade of stupidity, they bring us closer to the point of the unthinkable. Forget this season if these two parties step through the legal porthole. Once this goes to court, all bets are off. Antitrust suits could mean irreparable damage to the league and its teams. The union could, of course, fail and be wiped out. What if the league was successful in having all contracts struck down regardless of other rulings? What would the NHL look like? How long would such a battle take? How many teams would be left standing at the end of a protracted legal battle no matter who "won"? Perhaps most importantly, who would care when it was all over with?
Indeed, who cares now?
These are the kinds of questions that have fueled countless doomsday movies and books. Sometimes the madmen -- and there is invariably a madman or two bent on total destruction in these cautionary tales -- is stopped. Sometimes there is an epiphany or a heroic gesture or sacrifice.
In some stories, the ending is much bleaker.
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