And many wonder if it will stay that way for awhile.
After sitting face-to-face for five meetings in six days last week, the NHL and NHL Players Association have retreated to their own corners with no discussions planned to get a collective bargaining agreement in place.
With all games cancelled until Dec. 1 and the possibility of a 60-game season starting to fade, Bill Daly, the NHL's deputy commissioner, told QMI Agency Tuesday the two sides haven't decided on when more talks may be held.
And if union officials are waiting for the NHL to make another move to try to save the season, it's not going to happen. Daly said in an email the league isn't going to be tabling any new offers.
"We're done making proposals at this point," said Daly.
Talks broke off Sunday after an hour-long meeting in New York where nothing was accomplished. Both stood on ceremony and neither showed willingness to move as the lockout hits Day 60 Wednesday.
Daly said the league is willing to negotiate some points.
"The union knows where this is flexibility and room to negotiate," said Daly. "They also should know where there's not."
While NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr said Monday the two sides are "close" to a deal, Daly and the league don't believe that's the case and there are major issues to be agreed upon if there's going to be hockey this season.
The league is firm in its insistence to move to a 50-50 split in revenues immediately. The players have balked at the "make whole" provision in the NHL's offers, but the league has said it will cover a shortfall in revenues the first two years.
Daly told CSNPhilly.com if the NHL had accepted the union's proposal for "make whole," the players would have received 65% of revenues in 2012-13 even though 82 games aren't going to be played this season.
"Maybe you can explain to me how close we are when the union's last offer requested a 'guarantee' of players' share dollars in excess of $1.9 billion -- and a guarantee going up in subsequent years," Daly said. "We are offering 50% of HRR this year in an environment where we estimate damage to the business of at least $400 million -- to this point? Their latest offer would have players making 65% of HRR for this year. It's a funny definition of being 'close'."
An NHLPA official told the website the union is willing to discuss what happens this year once a CBA is in place. At this juncture, any agreement looks like wishful thinking.
The NHL would like to save the season. The league is getting to a point where it may have to cancel a couple more weeks of games in December and there's no chance NBC will begin its broadcasts on Nov. 23.
Penguins star Sidney Crosby told reporters in Pittsburgh Tuesday the two sides have reached a stalemate and there isn't going to be any winner if this isn't settled.
"The desperation to play doesn't really seem like it's on their side," said Crosby. "There's a deal to be made and negotiations have to go better if there's going to be a deal. If it keeps going like this, everybody's going to lose.
"I don't think there's much negotiating going on. As far as the proposals are concerned, we're kind of at a stop -- at a standstill -- right now. Nobody's really moving a whole lot on their side and we've made steps to show we're willing to negotiate, but I don't think that's happening on the other side."