who's most at fault for the NHL's "dire" predicament and does it have any bearing on what either party should demand in CBA negotiations? I personally think the owners are largely responsible for this mess. They have budget limits they wouldn't stay in. They've allowed this league to expand into non-traditional, suffering hockey markets (short-term monetary gain) which has allowed the industry to become unhealthy (long-term pain). Now they want the players to take the hit for their mistakes. That's unjust. But, the players have pressured the owners to make fat contract offers. Goodenow has been a cold negotiator. Also, the NHLPA hasn't yet offered a system which can reasonably help some small markets which are deserving of a fair chance of retaining their best players (you know, the traditional hockey cities like edmonton, calgary) Yet, it is ultimately the owners' fault for this self-imposed lockout. They've stabbed each other in the back by signing players to highly lucrative deals (Lapointe, Thornton, NYR offer to Sakic) but are suddenly unified in advocating for a hard cap system (seems fishy to me). They've looked for quick ways to make substantial amounts of money (care more about their back-pocket than the product of the game or the fans). They must also be feeling pretty good that the hockey fans they're taking advantage via high ticket prices are on their side. I don't empathize with these billionares one bit. These wealthy people shouldn't have the luxury of operating in an idiot-proof system which allows'em all to make money regardless of their team's success. You take risks by giving players fat contracts and expanding the league into places where it won't work, you ought to get burned. The thought of a Bill Wirtz or a Jeremy Jacobs livin la vida loca while their teams suffer gives me chills down my spine.