Just prior to cancelling the season the NHL took a huge advantage in negotiations with the NHLPA dropping their resistance to a salary cap,thus their "matter of principle" and "philosophical differences".Everyone expected NHL to play hardball but actually they seem to have become more accomadating and imo a major breakthrough came when Bettman came out with a statement that they wouldn't be looking at replacement players and wanted to negotiate with the NHLPA.Now it looks like they might be the ones giving the most ground to the NHLPA. My question is did the NHL not really want to get a deal done for a shortened season and actually preferred to lose a whole season as opposed to play a 25-30 game season.Does the timing of when the salaries come in factor into it?(meaning although it would be a shortened season it would still start the inflation process by one year). What about the Crosby factor? Shortly after Bettman started talking softer he floated the idea of every team getting a shot at Crosby.(something he couldn't have done if there was a shortened season).I never really believed the "Crosby to New York" conspiracy theory but I'm starting to wonder. Also the Memorial Cup saw more NHL brass then ever including Bettman at a Rimouski game and soon after that the NHL is doing some serious testing about rule changes to open up the game more to show off the more skilled players.Anyway it looks like the NHL is serious about wanting to play hockey this year and last year it looked like they weren't in a rush. Are there any other reasons in this sudden shift in posture?