I've said it before, but I generally side with the owners in sports labor disputes. Secure owners translate into a stable league that can focus on competition. I sided with the owners in the last NHL lockout, for example.
This time, I place the blame squarely on the owners. Sure, the players are being somewhat difficult in the negotiation process, but the owners have ceased to act in the interest of the sport, and instead are solely trying to pad their wallets. Look no further than the reticence of the owners to implement meaningful revenue sharing (as the players want).
And now, this ( http://www.defendingbigd.com/2012/11/16/3654718/2012-nhl-lockout-Florida-panthers-profits-arena-losses-money-revenue ) comes out. It's a little dense, but worth your time. The TL;DR (for you true lazy asses) is that in the case of the Florida Panthers, while they report losses of nearly 7.5m per year, the owner's arena holding company reported 117m in profit over that time time span, which is around 8m a year. Thanks to the silly HRR definition the players agreed to, the arena revenues aren't factored into HRR, and the Panthers scream about how impoverished they are.
As these numbers illustrate, don't believe them. Last time around, the owners needed to implement change to keep the league from failing. This time it's a straight money grab. Just another reason I am struggling to remain an NHL fan.