Former NHLPA Chief Paul Kelly Expects NHL Lockout

Former NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly believes that the NHL is headed toward a lockout. In an interview with ESPN's John Buccigross Kelly said:

"Significant issues still divide the two sides, and millions of dollars are at stake. As things currently stand, and absent a significant move by one side or the other, we will have a lockout as of Sept. 15 and it will last for at least several weeks, if not longer."

The current collective bargaining agreement expires on Sept. 15 and if a new deal is not reached by that time, a lockout is expected. Kelly, who was the head of the NHLPA from October 2007 through August 2009, doesn't see either side folding and stated that the players appear more unified now than they did during the 2005 discussions.

Buccigross also received a text from a "well-connected hockey source" that does not give a lot of hope to the season starting on time:

"In spending time around the players the last month, I think they are very unified and more misinformed than ever. They don't get it. I know for a fact there are teams that would lose much less money by not playing than if they played. If you are an owner, why would you agree to lose more money when this is your one chance to reset the equation? The players are being walked right down the gangplank and don't see it coming."

For more on the NHL and the CBA negotiations please visit SB Nation's hockey hub.

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