We are now down to just a number of days.
The NHL says it will cancel the season if there is not an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) by Jan. 11.
Gary Bettman has done it before. He canceled the 2004-05 season. This is not just an idle threat.
While the talks have seemed to take on roller-coaster characteristics—up one day, down the next—Bettman's track record and seeming vindictiveness leave most hockey fans cold.
However, as bad as the reality is, it will still take even more for Bettman and the owners that supposedly give him his actual marching orders to pull the plug on the season.
The season will be played. Here's why.