Are These The Teams and Owners Driving The Lockout?

Via Elliotte Friedman's always excellent "30 Thoughts" column:

The commish has three groups of owners: the ones who want to play; the ones in the middle, including Tampa and Nashville, who want a better collective bargaining agreement but recognize not playing is worse; and the hardliners. It would be a mistake to underestimate the last group. There are several who would rather cancel the season than accept a bad deal because they are hemorrhaging money and need immediate satisfaction.

While the players believe Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs is calling the shots, an educated guess at the final group includes but may not be limited to Anaheim, Columbus, Florida, the Islanders, Phoenix, St. Louis, Washington and Dallas — enough to block any agreement from getting done (It's tough to lock it down because owners are forbidden to discuss this stuff. Attempts to talk to a couple were politely shot down).

This group is the biggest challenge for both the commissioner and the players.

We're glad that it doesn't say "Pittsburgh" anywhere in that list but, then again, Mario Lemieux has never been one to really care about labor relations. He'd rather play golf, drink wine and be awesome.

Unless he's drinking wine in the owners' box, we assume this is how he spends the rest of his life.

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