My prediction: the NHL and the NHLPA will finally put aside their differences (yes I am smirking as I type this) just in time for the FEEL GOOD EVENT OF THE YEAR. After all of the ugly, bitter nastiness between the two sides, the wonderous joy that will be the Winter Classic will be the perfect tool to make the fans forget all about the lockout. Once the ice is hardened in the middle of the Big House, hockey fans worldwide will regain the twinkle in their eyes and we will once again celebrate the return of the game we all love.
There is simply no way that both sides are going to waste such a perfect political opportunity to regain the fans' trust again. This is an election year after all.