First, the impasse is the obvious solution. The way I understand it is that the NHL, after a year, will go to the Federal Labor Relation Authority and claim impasse saying the players are not bargaining in good faith. This will be a crucial point as I belive that their books will be thrown open at this point. The owners must be pretty secure in their position to do this. The reason is GW Bush. Through personal experience I can assure you that the current climate is not good for a labor Union made up of millionaire athletes. Hell, it is awful for us and I'm a federal employee. The FLRA is basically a Bush appointed authority and I believe, hell, I know, Bush will jump all over the opportunity to crush the players union. What will basically occur is a direct implementation of whatever rules the owners want and the league will restart with replacement players and an open invite to all existing players to join back at league terms with a drop dead date. After the drop dead date they will not allow any of those players to play in the New look NHL, costing them another season. The year after that the will open a window to these players again and it will continue on that way. My guess is a salary scale based on years of service (sort of like National Lacrosse League) plus some escalator provisions (Franchise players) for top players as well as a hard cap. I assume you would also see some medieval disciplinary rules imposed as well as a possible roster reduction. Lastly, you would see a rookie salary cap similar to the NFL with players slotted and draft age moving to 20. The players can sue all they want, but I estimate their chances of winning to be 1 in 20. You may see a rival Canada only league sprout up, and probably be better, but in the end money will rule the day. Now, as for Crosby. If he is smart, he will challenge his draft status by saying that he should have been eligible for the upcoming draft and the league is illegally restraining him from work by not conducting one. He would claim eligibility under the old CBA and that he is illegally being denied work under the new one. Of course the league would love this and probably make a deal with him to make him a centerpiece of the "new look" NHL. That is my dire prediction. Hopefully, I am dead wrong.