This doesn't surprise me 
Cox in the Star:
The guess from here is that it was a cynical, last-ditch sucker play by the union designed to put the league on the griddle, with Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux having flown in to be part of the negotiation, and then to see if the NHL would cough up a better offer.
Instead, the NHL didn't offer anything, and the union didn't come armed with any new proposal of their own, much to the shock of both Nos. 66 and 99.
The meeting was supposed to be a secret and both Gretzky and Lemieux — whose presence was requested by union president Trevor Linden — were without question under the distinct impression the union was coming in with a $45 million (all figures U.S.) salary cap offer.
Instead, the union immediately released news of the meeting Friday night and did so in a way that made it appear the league was begging the players to come back to the table.
Then, the players arrived at the St. Regis Hotel yesterday empty-handed.
Fact is, the league almost certainly would have done a $45 million cap deal yesterday, and came armed with two former superstars and the intention to make it happen.
But the union had other ideas, and the entire effort went nowhere.
The result, and this is worrisome to the notion of getting next season started on time, may be that the day only served to further polarize the two sides.
Gretzky and Lemieux, counted among the most moderate owners, were left bewildered and angry at their former union, while Bob Goodenow in absentia may have been able to regain some control over his fractured organization by creating the impression for his charges that the league is wholly intransigent.
The only promising news might have been the presence of former NHL Players' Association president Mike Gartner, a moderate voice in a sea of extremism.
Gartner might be able to play a constructive role if — and this is a gigantic if — a way can be found to get a new collective bargaining agreement done in the next two to three months.
Still, the arrogance of the players appears to know no bounds as they continue to believe they're entitled to a higher salary cap than the NBA ($43 million) despite the fact the NBA's revenues are substantially higher.

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