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The Boston Globe

Sports

Sunday Hockey Notes

Victory is there — now NHL owners need to claim it

Despite all the doom and gloom served up Wednesday in Manhattan, following another round of dashed collective bargaining agreements talks, I’m not giving up on a 2012-13 NHL season. I may be forced to surrender my Pollyanna Platinum card because of my ever-cheery disposition, but I don’t see 30 dead rinks, not yet, even though league owners last week flashed the working help what could be best described as the late-1960s Derek Sanderson one-armed salute (if you’re too young to remember, trigger “fertile imagination’’ app here).

The players, slightly more than five weeks after the owners finally served them a real offer, finally returned Wednesday with a valid offer of their own. Why that took 36 days is anyone’s guess, but overall I think it took that long for the harsh reality to sink in among the rank-and-file: the owners are going to get what they want, and it’s getting time for everyone to bend a little and get back to stoking the furnace of a $3 billion-plus business.

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