Will NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman be receptive to Donald Fehr's negotiation tactics? My gut is fearful. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Bettman: January 11th Is Drop Dead Date

As expected, Bettman confirms NHL Point of No Return: January 11. Good.

— Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL) December 31, 2012

It’s all coming to an end.  Good or bad, we’ll know in about ten days or less.

January 11th is the absolute last day that training camp can open, says Gary Bettman.  After that, you can take your stick and go home.

Opening camp on January 11th would give teams a week to get ready for the season, which would begin on January 19th.  The season would likely be 48 games, and all teams would play within their conference for the duration of the regular season.

Sides now have about ten days to straighten up.  Posture.  Argue.  Have silly press conferences where you can make silly faces.  Fix the cap.  Decide on an ultimate term length of contracts.  Determine how much of a variance can be allowed within those contracts.  Order lunch, and sign the damn deal.

January 11th.

Not a minute later.

Let’s get this done already.

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