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09/12/2012

Prepare for bad news: Dallas Stars making lockout plans

1297306585174_ORIGINALThe NHL and the NHL Player's Association are formally meeting today in the NYC to possibly reach an agreement and avoid a lockout that would begin Sept. 15; click here for more.

Proving how much they want to avoid a work stoppage, this is the first time the two sides have met since Aug. 31. Yes, that is sarcasm. The deadline is 11:59 pm ET on Saturday night to avoid a work stoppage.

NHL boss Gary Bettman is in a serious bind; this is not a lawyer who likes to lose and there is a good chance he is not going to body slam NHLPA leader Don Fehr the way he did Bob Goodenow back in 2004.

Unlike in 2004, when Bettman had the complete support of every one of the owners he represents, there are some disagreements within the ownership group this time. It is likely a good reason Fehr took over as NHLPA boss; he has some leverage this time whereas Goodenow had very little.

No one is supporting the owners or Bettman this time. The 2004 lockout was presented as a necessity to "fix the game". Nothing was really fixed but the problems just looked different; now we know that the '04 lockout and this potential stoppage is another money grab disguised as a solution.

A source with the Dallas Stars said the team remains in a holding pattern but is making plans to travel to Boise next week to begin training camp.

Contingency plans are now being made. The source said the team will send out a letter on Sunday morning to all season ticket holders about refunds for any potential lost games.

The source said the general feeling is that the season will be delayed, but not lost. The Winter Classic, which is scheduled for Ann Arbor, Michighan between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, is not a game the league or those respective ownership groups want to surrender.

 

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