NHL commissioner Gary Bettman threw a fit when he did not get the answer he wanted from the NHL Players' Association on Dec. 6 and he ended the negotiating process. He pulled the latest offer off the table and both the league and the NHLPA are left with egg on their faces once again.
But at a certain point, they will get back to the table and a deal of some sort will be completed.
NHL teams will have a reduced salary cap when the season finally begins.
Several teams will be over the cap and they may have to trade or cut top players to get under the cap ceilings.
Some of those trades may cause short-term problems because of the loss of quality players, but it seems teams will be forced to make moves so they will be able to meet league limitations.
David Krejci, Boston Bruins
Krejci is an excellent player for the Bruins and he played a vital role when they won the Stanley Cup in 2011. His pinpoint pass to Nathan Horton in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning gave the Bruins the only goal of that decisive game.
Krejci can handle the puck, pass it superbly and score on occasion.
The Bruins are scheduled to pay him $5.25 million in 2012-13. While he is a good player with excellent skills, his salary appears to be out of whack with a reduced salary cap. Expect the Bruins to move him once the lockout ends.
The Bruins are scheduled to pay $68.9 million in salary. That's more than any other team in the league.
Dany Heatley, Minnesota Wild
The Wild have to do something with Heatley, who is scheduled to earn a whopping $7.5 million this season. The Wild added high-priced duo Zach Parise and Ryan Suter this offseason, so they must get rid of existing salary. Heatley will have to be traded or cut in order to get rid of that huge price tag.
The Wild have $68.5 million in payroll in 2012-13.
David Booth, Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks have the third-highest payroll in the league at $67.76 million. They are going to have to get rid of salary and may have to think about moving Booth.
Booth is a valuable player and he gives the Canucks some secondary scoring, but that may be a luxury that the team will no longer be able to support.
Mike Cammalleri, Calgary Flames
The Flames ($66.6 million) should be a team that is in transition. General manager Jay Feaster wants to give his veterans one more chance to make the playoffs and fulfill the dreams of Flames fans.
However, this is not a team that looks like it could not get past the first round if it did make the playoffs.
The Flames need to rebuild and get draft picks and young talent. They could trade Cammalleri ($6 million salary in 2012-13) to pare payroll and get younger.
Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers ($66.6 million) have all kinds of defensive issues going into the 2012-13 season. It seems likely that Chris Pronger will not be able to play again (concussion-related health issues) and the Flyers need help on the defensive end.
However, is Timonen really worth $6.33 million in salary?
The Flyers will have to answer that question and they may have to part ways with him as a result of their salary-cap issues.
Martin Havlat, San Jose Sharks
The Sharks ($65.2 million) have a lot of older players and they know their window of opportunity to win a Stanley Cup is closing. If Doug Wilson is really honest with himself, he may come to the conclusion that the window has already been slammed shut and that all of his players are on the trading block.
However, he has to consider moving or cutting Havlat, who commands $5 million in salary. Havlat scored seven goals in 39 games last year and he is not going to bring the Sharks much value for the money.
All salary figures are courtesy of CapGeek.com