Maybe stepping away from professional hockey for a year or so might be what is required to bring it down to earth on all fronts; a more affordable operation model for the owners; more reasonable salaries and benefits for the players; and more affordable ticket prices for the fans. On these three counts, I vote that the lock-out continue until reason prevails. Smaller is beautiful when it divides the pie more evenly among all the major stakeholders including the fans; too big is a recipe for eventual failure, with franchises going in the tank, fans staying away, and players losing their financial security. As I finish this blog, I can’t help but notice that Commissioner Bettman has just stepped to mike to announce that the owners have outrightly rejected the players’s latest counter-proposal that offered a gradual movement towards 50-50 sharing over three years. It looks like a deadlock has already formed where no more bargaining is likely because the gap in demands is still too great.