On the Sutter calendar it seems there's plenty of time left to get back to playing hockey this year. While everyone else is proclaiming that the end is nigh, the Flames coach and GM says that it will take as long as it takes to get a deal. He also says that there is "still a considerable length of time for us to start to play ". A statement that certainly places Mr. Sutter at the top of the positive thinkers club for 2005.
From all other corners of the debate comes the feeling that all is lost, the season will never be and don't make plans for 2006 either. Jarome Iginla normally a positive guy says he's making plans to take his family to Europe for next year, it's his expectation that there will be a good many other ex-NHLers making the trek for next season as well.
Guess he hasn't talked to the coach and GM in the past few days!
Sutter it seems is the only one that seems to think that hockey will return to the ice in NHL venues this year, with the latest conversations between players and management ending on a note of frustration and disappointment the Sutter vibe is a decidedly minority opinion.
Trevor Linden said it's going to be World War Three, and Gary Bettman should just go ahead and declare the season dead, a point echoed in cities across the NHL landscape as player rep after player rep suggested that there is no hope for a settlement in the short term.
As the dates on the calendar flip by one after the other we wonder if even Darryl's calendar will show a date with a big black "X" on it. The day that Darryl's optimism gives way to the reality that nothing can be done for this season, the question then will be can there be any other seasons to follow!