With the NHLPA's continued concessions and a mere $12m separating the owners and players, there is no way in hell that any impasse declaration would hold water. What's more, the groundswell of support for the owners surely must evaporate if after being offered a 24% rollback, a cap, a luxury tax, salary arbitration concessions, etc., they still scrap the season. The owners basically have two options: (1) negotitate off of the $52m (perhaps by conceding less of a rollback, etc.) or (2) shut it down and hope for a better deal come the fall, without having any real threat of replacements. How can (2) be in any way better than (1)? Some might argue a $52m cap is high, but let's face it, negotiations and CBAs are generally incremental. The owners are scoring a big win here relative to each sides' positions, and even if they have to swallow a higher cap for 4-6 years, if it turns out to be a problem they can surely negotiate it down next time. At least it will be there to tweak. Frankly, I don't see how there can't be a deal, and if there's not, it's 100% squarely on the owners' backs. Even the most sympathetic Gary-lover can't expect more than this: an immediate reduction in player costs by 24% PLUS methods to control costs going forward.