The Ottawa Senators are reportedly preparing for a 50-game season that would start in early 2013 and coincide with a litany of layoffs. All of this comes in preparation for another potential lockout due to owners and players still being far apart on a labor deal with less than a month before the start of training camps.
While it's not a good sign, these types of things are to be expected with owners trying to brace for what could be an extended stalemate.
The NHL missed the entire 2004-05 season due to a lockout that transformed the sport with the implementation of a salary cap among various other new rules on and off the ice.
Now the league faces perhaps another self-imposed work stoppage, one that fans certainly will have a harder time understanding. The NHL is coming off a very successful season which saw NBC provide television coverage of every postseason game live on one of its networks (or the NHL Network in the first round).
It's tough to imagine the owners holding firm when so much money is there for the taking between gate receipts and TV money. Then again, its business after all.