After 6½ months of the most tortured negotiations in sports-labor history, the NHL and the Players Association finally have a deal.
It took a 16-hour bargaining session which, mercifully, ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning. It took umpteen proposals and counter-proposals and as many take-it-or-leave it offers. It dragged the game through one of the most ignominious chapters in its history, holding it up to ridicule and scorn even as it alienated the vast majority of its fan base.
And now it's over but if the league thinks this is the end of the story, they are as clueless as they seemed through this whole regrettable process.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the real impact of Lockout III can't be measured until the games resume and, in the here and now, the NHL is staring at a massive public relations nightmare. If you believe the entries from social media, blogs and various man-on-the-streets, the fans tuned out...