IÂ´ve read what the Stratchan& Brooks of the world have to say today. The question everyone is asking is, "it doesnÂ´t make sense. They were so close and still couldnÂ´t get it done." However these guys seems to forget that its febuary 19th today. And when you take that into consideration allot of leverge goes out the window. The alternative from a NHL point of view to start a season in 2 weeks canÂ´t be very appealing. Everyone seems to agree that there are allot of changes to be done to the game when it starts inorder to get the fans back after this mess. However would a 28 games season do that? The way I see it the 05Â´ season could have gone down as by far the worst season ever. I am sure that was as big a reason as any why we didnÂ´t see a deal yesterday... Here is why: First of all, almost half the players wouldnÂ´t be in shape. It takes more then a week to get your legs moving. Atleast 2 superstars would be AWOL, and there arenÂ´t to many around these days. I belive we all can agree how much the stars means to the game, and one thing is certain they wouldnÂ´t benefit from only skating a week before the league starts. The timing and hand eye cordination is what takes the longest time to get back. Second, the problem with obstruction would still be there. Thats is also a myth Id like to kill, allot of columnists have talked about how its the NHL who have created the trap(or in other words let it be) so that small market teams can compete. Personally I donÂ´t belive 1% of that. I mean the trap has cost allot of money for the entire league, its ridiculos to belive that the people in charge would make that sacrifise so Nashville/Minnesota can compete. The people in charge, Bettman and Campbell isnÂ´t capable thats the bottomline...Swedish equallent to hockey night in Canada spent 50% of its show last monday debating what happend to the last crackdown on obstruction and hooking in the SEL. It only lasted two month! =) And there is no interest what so ever to have a trap in the SEL. I saw a soccer game last night, 0-0. Low scoring has been a problem for 30 years for soccer and they are dooing everything to fix it. The reality in hockey is that the diffrence in talent between the best guy on the team and the worst guy is allot less then it where 20 years ago. The same about goalie equipment, sure its gotten bigger. But put Marty Brodeur in the net naked with a skates, a stick and a glove&blocker and he will save 90% of the shoots from the blueline anyway if his life depended on it. These guys are extremely skilled. Take away the top 60 goaltenders from the NHL and bring up the guys below them and you would see scoring increase allot, and they all play with the same equipment. However I donÂ´t doubt that the game can be opened up but it will take allot more then a phonecall. Third, would there have been people at the rink? If I had a seasonticket to a league that I thought was cancelled I wouldnÂ´t be able to attend many of thoose games. I am pretty fullbooked the next four weeks. And how many people would go out and by tickets in a week or two after this mess? I am afraid that the level of hockey beeing played would stink. With many skilled players struggling to get back to shape the grinders will dominate even more and the trap will be more prominent the ever. The arenas would be half empty. This if anything could turn out into a disaster for the league. The absolutly worstcase scenario would be a Stanley Cup game in 05Â´ beeing played infront of 5000 fans. That could forever take away the auroa that the Stanley Cup playoffs have. I am not saying that this was the deciding factor. Things arenÂ´t exactly getting better by the day. But personally I donÂ´t belive all the conspiracy theorys. If the owners wasnÂ´t completly satisfied over what was on the table, maybe the option of a 05Â´season wasnÂ´t that appealing. However IF there is a agreement this summer and the league turn on the mother of all commercial campaigns. With 1. Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin, Forsberg and Kovalchuk among others as marketable stars. 2. New Rules to prevent obstruction, hooking& holding, shootouts, wider lines and on. 3. A new version of the coollest game on earth campaign. I personally belive that allot of fans might come back, and it might even attract new fans which is certain that a 05Â´ season would not. I know for sure that if Crosby makes his way to NY and the Rangers somehow I am booking flight tickets over the atlantic and will be there on opening night, with my tale between the legs.