Now if I'm a player, I am asking myself some very serious questions. Namely, how exactly is this thing going end? Do players stand any chance at winning? And are players going to sit out 1Â½ or two years only to have Bettman hand them a non-negotiated deal worse than the one they could have accepted and been a part of much earlier? The possibility of that happening grows more likely with each passing day. And if the players continue to sit back idly waiting for the owners to cave, they could be playing a game of chicken they have no hope of winning. But with the possibility of losing two years of salary and then losing the war anyway, it makes one wonder why they aren't trying to negotiate something -* anything *- while they still can Some players are starting to believe they are fighting a war they cannot win. As one told me, "We can dig in all we want, but at the end of the day it's the owners' league and they can do what they damn well please. They're the ones paying the bills." The NHL Players' Association is banking on either the NHL not being able to secure its impasse in court or, if an impasse is declared, no players crossing a picket line and going back to work. It sounds good on paper, but it is also very, very risky. All it will take is one high-profile player announcing he has had enough and he's going back to work. Then, stand back and watch the floodgates open wide. Just one player saying, "[Forget] the cause; this is the last chance in my life to make big money. I'm going back to work," and the players will have stayed out for what? For nothing. Having spoken with a number of players, I get a sense some are starting to soften on the "no cap" stance, and as long as guaranteed contracts can be negotiated they are ready to end the fight. That said, they are afraid to stand up and say so for fear of being vilified by other players. And if the majority of players feels this way, it would be a shame to see the season *- and numerous careers *- go down the drain. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/...000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 Can anyone in the NHLPA step up and say something?