The most frustrating thing about Tuesday's Bettman-less, (Donald) Fehr-less meeting between NHL players and owners is how much common ground the two sides have, yet how far away from a lockout resolution they are.
One assumes the majority of owners would support player platform planks like expanded revenue sharing, flexibility on long-term contracts (i.e. ones that offer "lifetime" deals but without cap circumvention) and a declining share of the players' take in revenue during the duration of the next CBA. (How steeply it declines is the issue.)
In an ideal world, the conversation in New York this afternoon would go:
OWNERS: "We like handing out long-term contracts. In fact, we handed out a crap-ton of them right before the lockout started"
PLAYERS: "And we like signing them!"
And then everyone hugs while Jeremy Jacobs grabs his phone and says, "Mr. Bettman … take us down to Lockout DEFCON 5."