It should be a discussion about money. It should be who gets what and how to pay for it. The money doesn't talk, or argue back and forth. It just sits there, billions of it, and waits to be moved about like Scrabble pieces.
Where the pieces eventually end up will inevitably say something about hockey and power and the battle between capital (ownership) and talent (players) to influence the fate of the industry, but that won't change the facts:
There is this much money in pot: who gets what?
That's the nature of the negotiation NHL commissioner Gary Bettman should be having with the NHLPA and its executive director Don Fehr.
Instead it's become a debate about trust and fairness and dirty dealings and history.
The latest splash of grease to the fire was news Tuesday that the NHL had given its owners and general managers a 48-hour window to talk to the players about the offer to the league made to the NHLPA last week. The NHL cracked open the window - setting aside league by-laws for 48 hours to do so -- in wake of their decision to reject the three proposals brought forward by the players on Thursday.