Locally, I didn't see coverage at all of yesterday's marathon meeting between the NHLPA and the owners... I'll leave it to the HockeyBird's commentary for more information with regards to that.
Unfortunatley, Tampa Bay's media has gone the way or redundancy. I don't usually fault John Romano for lackadistical writing but his article, Move it or Stand to Lose It All basically repeats stuff that we all know and have been aware of for a while: everyone is losing out the longer this work-stoppage lingers, Gary Bettman sucks, Bob Goodenow is gambling with a losing hand and he's making a mistake thinking the owners will not call his bluff, the players are needing to decide between being rich, stinking rich ro filfthy stinking rich, etc.
One quote in the piece got me a little more than any other. It was Ron Campbell:
"We are in the best position of any team in the NHL because we can drape that (Stanley Cup) banner when we get back," Lightning president Ron Campbell said. "We've held our own through this. Better than we originally thought. But if this extends into the fall, there could be quite a bit of decay."
I wouldn't say Tampa Bay is in the best position of any team. That banner -- and the Cup -- is still what drives a lot of fans but a lot of them are bitter that the Lightning have not gotten to defend their crown. Next season may end up only including a handful of Tampa Bay players that were once members fo the championship roster. How will fans react if suddenly Martin St. Louis has left the Lightning due to the factthey coudl not afford him under a salary cap? Or what if, players are given compensation in these negotiations and the current year of contracts are voided, or RFA's are deemed unrestricted free agents? Do you expect Tampa Bay fans to rejoice if suddenly the championship roster - which was basically left intact after last off season, minus Jassen Cullimore and Cory Stillman but plus Vaclav Prospal (a former Bolt standout and fan fav) - is totally re-worked and only a few farmiliar faces are on the team?
It's a Catch-22 right now -- we want the work stoppage over but when the work stoppage ends, nothing will be the same and even the National Hockey League champions may be in shambles as a result of compromises made in order to end the work stoppage.