Call it a lockout, a strike, a failure at the negotiating table, it sucks.
warning: this post contains references that may leave non-Canadians scratching their heads

I am referring to the NHL situation, and the announcement today by Gary Bettman (300k, 56k, audio, text)that the owners will not go ahead with this season without a bargaining agreement with the players.
This is a situation in which both sides are right and both are wrong. And both sides are trying to win the sympathy of the fans. From what I remember of the last NHL strike, the players' association was pretty successful at winning the hearts of the fans, as NHLPA hats and jerseys were selling like crazy.

So last night's game will be the last one for a while (BTW, yay Canada!!!). As Mario Lemieux and his teammates sat at the press conference after the game, I'm sure some of them had to be thinking about today. About how in less than 24 hours, Team Canada captain Mario Lemieux would be on the opposite side of the picket line, in his other role as owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins. It's likely that the Penguins players and their player rep will be more mute during this strike than those of other teams, due to their friendship with their owner and team-mate.

But elsewhere, it already looks like this could be a nasty one. Bettman came out swinging today, with remarks like
"When you look at the history, it is clear that this is a Union Leadership that negotiates only through confrontation, never looking forward to see what is needed or good for the game"
"This Union doesn't seem to care about the problems, the game or our fans."

NHLPA Executive Director Bob Goodenow replies:
"The Players remain prepared to negotiate a fair agreement with the Owners. But we need a negotiating partner who understands that agreements are the products of compromise. We do not have such a negotiating partner now.”

NHLPA President Trevor Linden says:
"The owners are only interested in negotiating a salary cap and will shutdown hockey if they don’t get their way. Five years ago they created a $300 million lockout fund. Now they have begun to lay off staff with more layoffs to come. The league is also engaged in a PR campaign to justify their lockout to fans."

So the situation looks bleak.. It's standard negotiating practice to start out tough, and there are likely to be more tough words in the coming days, as both sides try to justify their positions to fans who don't really care that much about the details, but are unhappy about the lack of hockey.
Maybe the CBC could have a weekly Saturday night program with Don Cherry and Ron Maclean in which they discuss the strike. It's easy to see how that would play out. Maclean, with his dislike for Gary Bettman, would come out meekly advocating the players' position, and Cherry, with his dislike of any players who whine that they don't make enough money, would come out on the side of the league, in his usual blustery style.

Or maybe the CBC could just air some old games from the 20s and 30s if they can find footage. That would be cool.