Makes no sense to compare Willie Mays to Mike Trout.
Or Johnny Unitas to Drew Brees.
Different eras, different players, different teams, different rules, different game.
The same can be said to the endgame of the NHL lockout.
You read how the lockout was resolved in 1994-95, with the path negotiations took. You read how the 2004-05 mess evolved, with games cancelled and how it concluded, with the way the bargaining finally ended.
Whenever this two-months-and-counting saga ends, it won't be a mirror-image of either.
How can it be? Since then, different union negotiators, many different owners, different demands, different personalities and egos, different moving parts. You can't step in the same river twice, right? Which is why this has been so hard to handicap. It's not like you can peruse The Racing Form and calculate, "OK, it's a no-brainer: Lucky Turn in the fifth at Belmont."
Nothing in these talks, which we've covered since the summer, is happening in a straight line. Maybe the sides will be speaking in Toronto this week.
That said, I generally thought there'd be games by Thanksgiving. Several of us covering the chatter thought a mediator would've helped. Now I'm leaning to December at best, with revised Conference-only schedules. But when the breakthrough comes, and how this will shake out, and when the Rangers and Islanders and all the other teams will be back on the ice, is yet to be accurately forecast.