Expert believes that time is running out for players, owners

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Sports management professor Rodney Fort told Yahoo’s Nick Cotsonika that he finds it hard to believe that the NHL and NHLPA are really that far apart in the CBA talks.

“I still have this fundamental, analytical belief that we could hear them just reach an agreement any day,” Fort said with a laugh. “I really have a hard time believing they’re actually that very far apart. … I won’t be at all surprised [if they reach an agreement] after the weekend, or next weekend.”

Like many others, Fort believes that this lockout is drastically different from the last one.

Interestingly, Fort also said that the players’ (perceived?) concessions might place the decision in the owners’ hands.

“The owners actually have a prize,” Fort said. “It might not be exactly the prize they want, but there is a prize. The players have offered them something, and they’re paying a price while they wait.

“The basics of it are pretty straightforward: The NHL has to weigh what they demand versus what they’re offered.”

While this analogy would have been more mouth-watering during the summer, it’s still fun to picture Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and the Fehrs splitting up a melting Popsicle, as described in the story:

Because the Popsicle is already out of the freezer, it is melting steadily, drip by drip, day by day. The faster the Big Four reach an agreement, the more they will have to divide. The longer they take, the less will be left. Eventually, there comes a point where the Popsicle won’t be a Popsicle anymore — just a pool of goo, a sticky mess.

By that logic, a lost season would be a puddle of sugary sadness.