It’s been a few weeks since my last installment, and that’s strictly because there wasn’t much to talk about. However, given the recent banter between the NHL and the NHLPA, there have been a few thoughts that have crossed my desk, and my mind.

WHAT IF the impromptu meeting on Monday between the NHL and the NHLPA was more than meets the eye?

Is it possible that the NHL is being pressured by its sponsors to get a deal done? Everyone has wondering whether or not the league has a preset deadline before it has to consider the season lost. What if the league’s primary sponsors gave the NHL an ultimatum to get something done prior to the American Thanksgiving holiday?

Given the amount of money invested by sponsors in the NHL, couldn’t it be feasible that they are dictating the “drop-dead” date to the owners? With the revenues already lost in the 65 day old lockout, sponsors can certainly put pressure on the league to get things done. That much was evident when Molson-Coors declared they would be seeking retribution from the league, 2 weeks ago, for damages incurred from the work stoppage.

However, with that being said, there are still certain owners who are comfortable in waiting things out…

WHAT IF MSG’s Executive Chairman, James Dolan, was one of those who isn’t worried about a lengthy stoppage?

Given the current success of the NBA’s New York Knicks, why would Dolan be pressed to have something resolved hastily between the NHL and the Players’ Assocation? The current revenue of the Knicks is substantial enough to offset any losses incurred because of the NHL labour negociations, as far as MSG is concerned. As one of the top 6 revenue generating teams in the NHL, the New York Rangers and MSG are comfortable enough to keep the status quo, and wait for the NHLPA to concede a little more in the owners’ favour.

And staying with the owners,…

WHAT IF Philadelphia Flyers’ owner Ed Snider WAS upset with Gary Bettman?

As I wrote about on in my first What if Piece (, a rift may certainly be growing between the NHL and it’s primary ownership group. As one of the owners who originally approved of Gary Bettman’s hiring, Snider may be ready to jettison the NHL commissioner in order to get the game going again.

Finally, in my “It Can’t Be” portion of this piece,…

WHAT IF the owner of the Minnesota Wild, Craig Leopold, is willing to void the contracts of Suter & Parise?

It’s certainly not something anyone would put past Leopold. Weren’t those two contracts the very reason why this labour impasse has occurred? Rumblings out of Minnesota indicate that there may be a loophole in the contract, where Leopold can void them on the premise that they were signed prior to a valid collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA.

While we will not know for certain until an labour deal is reached, something like this would certainly fall within Leopold’s modus operandi. Or has everyone forgotten how he bailed on the Nashville Predators?

No matter how you slice it, there is certainly a ton more pressure to get a deal done from leagues perspective than there is on the NHLPA’s. Fans will side on way or the other, but where dollars and cents are concerned, it’s all about Gary Bettman and the Big 6 of the NHL.

But really, WHAT IF?