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NHL Lockout: Dan Cleary Seems Pessimistic About the Upcoming Season

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 31:  Dan Cleary #11 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena on January 31, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Penguins defeated the Red Wings 2-1.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Scotty HuckContributor IIISeptember 24, 2012

According to a report from TSN, Dan Cleary had some less than reassuring words about the NHL lockout this season.

"I think people don't think it can go a year. As players, we think it can. Maybe longer." 

As a fan, I know this isn't what I want to hear. It seems the doom and gloom that has been held at bay and hidden by optimistic views of various journalists is coming crashing back to reality.

Really though, another full-season lockout? Isn't it a little early and premature to be making these types of claims?

Apparently not. And apparently, we as fans need to start making peace with the fact that this season will not exist.

Yes, there is still plenty of time until Gary Bettman will move forward with canceling the whole season, but not as much as some may think. Bettman has already said he would consider canceling the Winter Classic as early as November. Once that happens, there isn't a whole lot of incentive to get games started before then. So once we're looking at not beginning the season until January, we're only a stone's throw away from the loss of a full season.

Doesn't sound great. And while I personally don't view the flight of so many NHLers across the pond as a sign of weakness from the NHLPA, I certainly don't think it will be beneficial to negotiations.

I realize this is the first comment like this from a player that has such a negative tone, but I do not believe it will be the last. Other players are going to be asked questions about these comments and are going to share similar sentiments. Is this just another ploy in the PR scheme from the NHLPA, or is it just simply how one man feels? And can we expect to hear more of these feelings coming from other players around the league? How united is the NHLPA? Are the chances of getting this season underway as bleak as Dan Cleary would have you believe?

"It's not going to start on time. No way." 

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