The NHL labor agreement ends on September 15. Does this meen no 2004-2005 season (This could delay or possibly meen no 04-05 season)? This could be the end of the NHL or just one of the things that will hurt it. Any news on this subject?
As far as the end of the NHL, i find it supremely unlikely. Many NHL teams have fairly stable markets with comitted fans. Though the NHL wants to expand its fanbase, these core fans could keep some markets afloat. As for some other franchises that have a tough time making money, they might fold.
the WHA's entrance next season seems destined to spite the NHL's setback, but its going to take an ingenous marketing effort from the WHA to make the sway occur.