You cannot convince me thereís universal support among NHL owners for this lockout. No chance. I refuse to believe theyíre all standing in line behind Gary Bettman and Bostonís Jeremy Jacobs, whom we ruefully have to claim as one of our natives, and truly support this charade thatís ruining a sport.

Thereís plenty of I-donít-care-about-the-Sabres going on around here. So what chance does hockey have in places like Phoenix? Or Dallas? Or stripped-down Nashville? And so much for the momentum built in Los Angeles or Florida.

Keep in mind what these owners did. They threw out huge contracts over the summer and then rushed to get dozens of guys signed right before the Sept. 15 lockout. Minnesotaís Craig Leipold has been at the forefront of Bettmanís negotiating team and heís one of the biggest offenders.

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