For the first time in the 87-day NHL lockout, the drop-dead date for playing even a partial schedule is now within sight. Unless the league and its players can negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement and begin playing games by mid January, the entire 2012-13 season will be lost.
If that occurs, it is likely hockey will lose several prominent players whose careers will come to an end because of the lengthy layoff.
Source: Star-Ledger. Read full article. (link)