More on how the CBA talks could “pit owner vs. owner”

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Expanding on the idea that CBA talks could turn small market owners against bigger ones, Aaron Portzline caught up with an unnamed player agent who thinks almost half of the NHL’s teams could be interested in the NHLPA’s counter-proposal.

“I think as many as eight NHL owners would accept the NHLPA’s initial proposal,” The player agent said. “And there’s probably four to six others who would find the proposal acceptable enough that they could tweak a couple of things and live with it.”

Then again, that’s just an agent’s view.

Portzline paints the picture from the other, more unified side too.

But don’t expect any owner to acknowledge that publicly. The NHL has threatened a fine of at least $1 million to any club that speaks out during the lockout.Any disagreement would have to be confined to private talks among owners. One NHL executive told The Dispatch last week that Bettman has the “full support of every owner in the room right now.”

Boston owner Jeremy Jacobs and Philadelphia owner Ed Snider hold considerable sway with Bettman and are strongly opposed to revenue-sharing. Those clubs, along with Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, the New York Rangers, Toronto and Vancouver, would stand to lose the most revenue.

It’s anyone’s guess how much those eight, 12 or 14 NHL teams feel about the counter-proposal. (Again, a club would get fined if they voiced their agreement publicly.)

Still, Portzline’s article points out an interesting possibility that the players might be more unified than the owners this time around.