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Anybody know of a reason this shouldn't be done now?

IIRC, owners can't replace players (employees) until they declare a legal impass in negotiations. That could take a year. Also, if the players make even the smallest of concessions toward the owner's position, they can declare that negotiations are progressing and impass is not warrented.

Good article in yesterday's (or Mon.) San Jose Mercury News featured on Yahoo covered this. Sorry, don't have time to find link.

Odd bit: Labo(u)r relations in the US is a federal matter, but in Canada its under provincial perview.

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