It's Day 91 of the NHL lockout, and both sides are lawyered to the max.
NHLPA: Waaaaaah! We'll go to court and prove the lockout is illegal.
NHL: Waaaaaah! We'll get the courts to void all the players' contracts.
NHL fans: Waaaaaah! We quit!
That, in a nutshell, is where we stand, folks: Two greedy sides still arguing about how to divide $3.3 billion.
Do you still care?
The league and the players' union have gone to the courts _ or are about to go to the courts _ to complain about each other like grade-school kids. The players are in the process of voting to see if they should file a disclaimer of interest. If they do, it's their hope they will dissolve the union and file an antitrust suit against the league _ and ask a judge to declare the lockout illegal.
The league has filed a pre-emptive legal strike, trying to stop the players from dissolving the union. (And it's not because the NHL loves the union's boss, Donald Fehr.)
If the NHL is unsuccessful in claiming the lockout is legal, it wants to have all player contracts nullified and declared void.
That, in effect, would make every player an unrestricted free agent.
Want Sidney Crosby? Claude Giroux? Shea Weber?
Step right up, bidders!
Repeat after me: CHAOS.
What we have here is a lot of posturing. If both sides spent as much time negotiating as they did trying to ruin the opposing party, well, we might just be playing hockey now.
Maybe all of this legal mumbo jumbo will speed up the process and lead to a settlement, as it did in the NBA last year, when it had a new CBA 12 days after the union filed a disclaimer of interest.
My guess: We have a settlement just before Christmas and we're playing on Jan. 5.
Will any fans still care by then?