Bettman said it best, if the NHLPA has been so unwilling to negotiate while being locked out
When Bettman sits in a meeting and says "here is our offer and we will not negotiate any part of it", he obviously isn't willing to negotiate either. He doesn't seem to realize that negotiations involve give and take, not demands.
Fehr has a history of one strike and people assume he's no good for the sport but Bettman locks this game out like it's protocol and he's a saviour?
use your head: what do the owners gain by playing under a CBA they don't like, AND run the risk - scratch that - play with the certainty that fehr will just hold his dick until the playoffs and then strike if the deal isn't good enough for him?
Because Donald Fehr will call a strike before the playoffs.
End of story.
Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture; wouldnt this kill the league altogether, thus defeating the purpose of calling a strike in the first place?
Just take what happened in the MLB and apply it here; a 20% reduction in attendance. The NHL cant afford something even close to that.
They could go ahead and call a strike if they fancied the idea, but there would probably be no reason to reach an agreement anymore because the NHL would likely be finished anyways. There would be no league to return to.