Two key issues, among others, need to be addressed.

One is a 7-year opt-out clause the players seek in the 10-year contract. The owners won’t go for it. Expect the players to buckle on this one, everything else being equal.

The second is much more problematical. The owners want the players to recertify as an union before allowing camps to re-open. The owners can say the recertification can be done electronically, in a matter of a day. The players have thus far refused, saving their need signatures on a ballot, and it would take a week they say for that to happen.  They cite electronic mis-use. To that all this: Many players do not want to recertify, believing, mistakenly, they can strike better deals as indepedent operators.

Beyond those two issues there’s workman’s comp and the Doty case. Sure, all that could be solved with a hard-earned day in a smoke-filled room with no windows.

But if you are at a bar right now, taking bets, make the one that has at least a week of exhibition games cancelled.

The deal, once apparently so clear, now has issues piling up on issues, like so many airplanes circling in a holding pattern over O’Hare in Chicago.

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