Are both sides showing cracks in their armor?

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For the most part, the owners haven’t shared their thoughts on the lockout and the players have primarily expressed their support for the NHLPA and its executive director, Donald Fehr.

That’s given the impression of two unified fronts clashing against each other, but is that an accurate perception? Ultimately, we can’t fully know what goes on behind closed doors, but recent reports have suggested that both sides have their detractors.

One of the first in a series of noteworthy events within the last week was an anonymous NHL player stating that a player was called out and embarrassed during a conference call for asking “Don why he was learning details of the NHL’s last proposal through the media.”

That was followed by Roman Hamrlik’s recent criticisms of Fehr. He later expanded upon his initial comments, but didn’t offer a retraction.

Michal Neuvirth then chose to up the ante by not only supporting Hamrlik, but also saying that, “This lockout is not about majority of players, I think. It is about several superstars with big contracts.”

On the flip side, a Philadelphia Daily News report asserted that Flyers owner Ed Snider is teaming up with the rival Pittsburgh Penguins to bring an end to this lockout.

“If this is the deal we are going to get, what’s the point of dragging this out?” a source familiar with Snider’s thinking said at the time.

Snider was quick to distance himself by calling the report “erroneous,” but the reporter, Frank Seravalli, stood by what he had written.

If nothing else, the stories and statements that have come out over the last few days have been interesting. If you’re fishing for reasons to stay positive, then they might offer you a ray of light in the hope that somewhere behind closed doors, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Fehr might be feeling some pressure to make a deal sooner rather than later.