The Mighty Ducks stepped off the ice Sunday after their final exhibition game, a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh, wondering when they will play again.
"Baseball shot itself in the foot. I hope we don't have the same gun in our hands," said Coach Ron Wilson, who feels wedged between players and management. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the season will not begin until a new collective-bargaining agreement is reached, and the Ducks have nothing but practice and worry between now and their scheduled opener Saturday at Dallas.
With the situation in doubt, the Ducks have halted roster moves, and still have 30 players on the team at a time when they would usually have less than 25. Instead of regular-season intensity, they played a game that center Bob Corkum called "lackadaisical at best."
The Ducks and Penguins staged a solidarity handshake at the end of the game, and were met with scattered boos from the crowd of 16,799 at The Pond.
"Players have the impression owners are going to take all the heat if there's a lockout," Wilson said. "But nobody sympathizes with the players anymore. They don't sympathize with the owners either. I don't think anybody has any sympathy for pro sports at all anymore, period."
Luc Robitaille, who didn't play against the Kings on Friday because of a tender ankle, is playing on a powerhouse line with Ron Francis and Jaromir Jagr. He scored one goal and assisted on another by Len Barrie when he zipped a pass through the crease.