The NHL lockout is as close to the 11th hour as it gets. After last weekend's meltdown, and this week's " 2-week break," this is as low as it has gotten.
But in what could be a sudden, and shocking twist, the Flyers owner Ed Snider, a long time Bettman supporter may be fed up.
A big-time, must read article from the Philadephia Daily News:
Multiple sources confirmed to the Daily News on Friday that Snider, once seen as a supporter of the Bettman's push to rein in the players' share of revenue, has soured on the process after it became apparent that a deal would not be brokered in time for a Dec. 1 puck drop.
As the article lays out, Bettman only needs 7 owners on his side. And then this piece:
Despite their on-ice rivalry, there seems to be some thinking that the Flyers are interested in teaming up with the midmarket but high-revenue Pittsburgh Penguins to sway more governors toward a swift resolution. The Rangers are also viewed as anti-lockout.
At the very least, if the Flyers are changing their view, two important questions arise: Which other teams have shifted? Where is this whole thing heading?
While some of the smaller-market teams have been interested in a greater percentage of "hockey related revenue" to help get back in the black, there is a growing sentiment that any lingering effects from this lockout could wipe out a franchise in Columbus, Florida, Nashville or Tampa Bay entirely.
According to a source, the Flyers' top-level executives presented their own proposal for the collective-bargaining agreement nearly 3 weeks ago. It remains unclear whether their proposal was the engine behind the league's progress last week, when they strung together lengthy bargaining sessions in 7 out of 9 days.
Could the Flyers and Pens lead the charge to overthrow whatever is going on? Bill Clinton's name has even been mentioned.
The next few days the season and maybe even a few NHL franchises hang in the balance. Buckle up.