Pro sports and labor disputes go hand in hand these days. And at least one NHL agent believes the NHL could miss a year and a half of play its current labor issues are so massive. I doubt that. I doubt those NHL players will miss all those paychecks. They won't be happy but eventually they'll want to play and sign.
Some may play overseas and some may even stay there is the lockout continues over an extended period of time. But NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says every single NHL owner has told him that there's no give in the owners demands this time. Usually the players have to cave simply because they want to get paid. The NBA saw that happen when players didn't like the deal and complained about everything being unfair-- but they signed and started the season at Christmas.
The NHL is in worse shape than I thought because owners wouldn't suspend play if they didn't think it was worth it to do so. I don't think hockey has dollars falling from the sky like some may believe and that's at the crux of the matter. Maybe the time is arriving when pro sports salaries won't simply be as high as we've seen them grow over the years.