Face it. Most of us only do things when we are faced with a deadline.
For the NHL and the NHL Players' Association _ which will resume talks Wednesday in New York City _ that deadline is almost upon us.
From here, the sides have just two weeks to get a deal done.
Why two weeks?
Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, says teams need to play at least a 48-game season to protect the game's, um, integrity. (From here, the game's integrity has disappeared because of the third work stoppage under Bettman, but that's another story.)
In order to play 48 games, the season would have to start by Jan. 5. That would give teams a 14-week schedule, with the regular season ending on April 13, the original date of finales. That way, the playoff schedule would not be altered.
In a 14-week season, teams would play three games one week, followed by four games the next week. (Trying to compress more games into that limited space would be ludicrous and would compromise the game's, um, integrity.)
In order for that to happen, a deal would have to be completed by Christmas. That would give teams 11 days before the season started. The 11 days are needed for players to return from Europe and for teams to have a short training camp.
The clock is ticking, and it says here a deal will get done within the next two weeks. The sides are close on most issues, and the approaching deadline will increase everyone's urgency level.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Book signings. Hall of Famer Bernie Parent and Jakki Clarke, daughter of Flyers great Bobby Clarke, will have joint book signings Dec. 19 at the Barnes & Noble on 1805 Walnut in Rittenhose Square. The signing will be held between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Parent, who led the Flyers to a pair of Stanley Cups in the 1970s, will be signing his autobiography, "Unmasked: Bernie Parent and the Broad Street Bullies." Clarke wrote "Flyers Lives: Philadelphia Hockey Greats Share Their Personal Stories." Ed Snider wrote the foreward.