MINNEAPOLIS A cynic would say that this is becoming normal. An optimist would say that it will be resolved.
The cynic is right. The optimist is relying on a far too limited scope of memory.
As the NHL offseason begins, it's hard to ignore the league's expiring collective bargaining agreement, which will come to an end on Sept. 15. Trouble already seems to be looming, and really, should we expect anything else? It's hard to, especially after both the NFL and NBA went into lockouts in 2011.
The difference, though, is that football and basketball salvaged all or part of their seasons despite their respective work stoppages. They set a new precedent, that these things can be worked out sometimes at the 11th hour, but solved regardless.
Hockey hasn't yet set that precedent. The sport is only eight years removed from the start of its most recent lockout, and uncertainty is brewing again. When the NFL entered its most recent lockout, it hadn't done so since 1987. The NBA had gone 13...