While the NHL is sharpening its axe in anticipation of chopping the first two weeks of the regular-season schedule, it also will resume labour discussions Tuesday in New York.
But be wary of what to hope for.
While the talks are believed to centre around what "hockey-related revenues" actually are, negotiations on how the revenue pie should be sliced up are not expected to take place.
Meanwhile, New Jersey senators are urging the players and owners to consider the negative economic impact the lockout is having on their state.
Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg sent a letter Monday to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and players union boss Donald Fehr urging them to reach a settlement.
"Businesses, workers and hockey fans played no role in causing this dispute, and it is unfair for them to have to bear this burden," the letter said. "The Senate has jurisdiction over interstate commercial activities, including professional sports, and will keep a close eye on your negotiations with hope that you will work diligently and quickly to resolve this matter."
Maybe it's not quite a full-scale threat that the U.S. government might step in. But it does seem like a warning signal.
Keep in mind New Jersey recently lost its NBA team when the Nets moved to Brooklyn. As for the NHL Devils, the team's run to the 2012 Stanley Cup final provided an influx of millions of dollars into the Newark-area economy.