I haven't really wanted to talk about the NHL lockout, it's just too depressing. And I can't say that it's gotten less depressing.
The thing that irritates me about the whole thing, as it has about the last couple of labor stoppages in other sports, is that this one is about some of the owners trying to handcuff other owners. And in this scenario, the players are really just pawns, even though they are, nominally, one of the parties in the negotiations.
It seems that the biggest sticking point is how to divide the money, with the players currently mandated (per a provision that the owners pushed during the last lockout) to get 57% of the money. Now the owners want that rolled back to about 50/50. Given that the main problem is between owners, I think the players should suggest a salary cap of 57%, with a floor of 43%, and not mandate any particular level of spending (but require all current contracts to be honored). I would bet that the players would end up getting 53-55% in that scenario, and there's no way for the owners to spin that to look like the players are the ones being greedy.
But, we seem to be stuck with endless amounts of nothing, as it appears that talks have come to a standstill. Maybe there should be mandated daily meetings. That is, force them to be in the same room. Let them do whatever they want in that room, but they'll eventually start talking. It would still take a while, but would be quicker than letting things happen whenever they want to get together.