From the way things have been going so far, I'm feeling extremely pessimistic about the chances of there being a season.
It just seems that there's more extreme issues this year than there were back in 2004. There's just too many things that the owners want that would cut into the salaries of the players.
There's five or six big issues and whenever the CBA does get finished, I'm guessing that three of them get solved:
1) Players agree to a 52%-48% share in revenue with the players getting 52%. Owners are looking for the players to drop from 57% down to the 45-48% range, but I don't see them willing to agree to that.
2) Owner shelve the idea of limiting contracts to a maximum number of years (I think they're looking for five years max, maybe 10). It's really their fault anyway that so many are being handed out. From what I can remember, three more 10+ year contracts were handed out this offseason. I'm not seeing any way that they win this one.
3) Salary cap floor is lowered a bit more so losing teams and owners don't have to spend as much if they don't want too. Leave it up to the owners if they want to have a crappy team.
I think a lot of it depends on what happens in tomorrow's first offer from the NHLPA. It'll give a clear view on how far apart the two sides are. It looks pretty certain though that at least the first three months of the season are gone.