Owners Want at Least 60-Game Season?
Several high-ranking sources – on the league and players sides – believe there’s a do-or-die nature to getting a deal done to start the season on Dec. 25 and preserve a 66-game regular season.
While the two sides have enough time to negotiate a deal for a shortened schedule for the 2011-12 season, they likely would have to reach agreement no later than this weekend if the league also hopes to save its showcase games scheduled for Christmas.
Several league sources say there isn’t significant ownership support for a regular season that consists of less than 60 games, but few see a scenario where Stern cancels the season before Jan. 1, 2012. In the 1998-99 lockout, a deal wasn’t reached until early January and the league played a 50-game regular season.