Both Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky have weighed in on a potential lockout, and neither see the potential work stoppage lasting very long.
"I just can't believe they won't get together," Orr told CTV News. "There may be a short delay, but I can't believe it will be more than a short time. It would be so silly."
The league's collective bargaining agreement is set to expire on Saturday, and there hasn't been much optimism in striking a new deal before the deadline, despite the league's recent success.
"Our game is in pretty good shape with the talent we have," Orr added. "TV contracts, there's a lot going on … a lot of good things."
Those good things could be for not if the league and the union can't find peace before the season begins.
If games are lost, however, Gretzky doesn't think a stoppage akin to the 2004-05 lockout — which cost the league an entire season — will occur.
"I really think this one won't be as long as the last one," he told CTV. "I think somehow, some way, both sides will come together and we'll be playing hockey sooner rather than later."
Gretzky also agreed with commissioner Gary Bettman's assessment that fans will return no matter what, noting that while fans might come back unhappy, they'll come back.
"They enjoy the game too much," Gretzky added.
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