So the NHL has its schedule – but will they get to use it?

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As the 2012-13 NHL schedule was unveiled and the hockey community began to dissect it, it was hard to ignore the elephant in the room. As a number of outlets, including the NHL.com, pointed out, this new schedule will only be used if the players’ union and the league can agree to a new CBA in time.

So far we’ve gotten very little in the way of hard news regarding any potential negotiations between the two parties. That can be a little worrisome given that there’s less than three months less before the current CBA expires on Sept. 15. Still, the speculation coming from NHL players, GMs, and owners has been largely encouraging.

Zdeno Chara and Bruins GM Chiarelli both recently stated that they think something is going to get done. Chiarelli went as far as to specify that he thinks there will be no time missed.

When NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke about the issue recently, he said that he didn’t understand “the degree of negativity.”

Even online bookmaker Bovada doesn’t think the odds of a lockout are very high.

So if you want to be optimistic about the possibility of the NHL season starting on Oct. 11 as planned, then you’d have plenty of company.