Having been involved in a number of labor related contract negotiations I am actually buoyed by what I am hearing right now in regards to the CBA. Both sides are continuing to talk. The NHL has "moved" off an earlier position of not opening their books to now having allowed the NHLPA to look at each of the 30 teams and their financial picture. Why did they do this? One reason is a show of good faith, another reason is to show the Players that the Owners ain't lying about the lack of money in the NHL right now. Yes the owners having been unwilling to move on the salary cap issue BUT now that the players have gotten a realistic picture of the trouble the NHL is in they will, I am confident, now come back with a proposal that will make sense for both sides. It won't include a strict salary cap but I believe it will have it in, some sort of mechanism, that will drag down the escalating salaries and include some sort of "protection for the owners from themselves." Unless the players find, through their study of the finances of the 30 teams, that the NHL has been lying to them....there will be hockey in Octobers. In fact, I will even go as far to say that an agreement between the two may be reached where the season begins without the CBA actually being hammered out...but that both sides will agree on some major issues and agree to hammer the rest out as the season progresses. Then again, I also thought the Canucks would win the Stanley Cup.