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08-13-2012, 08:25 AM
  #69
Larionov
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I am amused by the player agents taking to Twitter in an attempt to shame Bettman. Guess what, guys - it won't work. He doesn't care. This isn't a PR battle, and the owners frankly don't care about that anyway. It is a business negotiation, and Bettman's job is to squeeze the players' sensitive parts as hard as he can.

The benefit Bettman has is that the players know he isn't afraid to drop the bomb. After all, he did it before. Whether they admit it or not, this will cause the NHLPA to make some significant concessions prior to Sept. 15 in order to avoid a lockout. If they give enough, Bettman may take those gains, say thank you, and sign a new CBA. This is what I am betting. I don't think we are in danger of losing a whole season because this time because unlike last time, Bettman won't be able to keep the owners united. It wouldn't be long before the divisions between large and small market teams spill into the open. (This is what Goodenow was betting on the last time, but it didn't happen.) I think his best strategy is to hold a potential lockout over the players' heads, get what he can from them, and sign a new deal.

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