I know, I know. Put everyone in the "losers" column for this word salad and just leave it at that. The NHL lockout was a miserable experience for everyone involved, leaving it bereft of any true winners. But some people and things came out of it looking at least as good or better than they did before all the fun started. No, not as many as you'll find in the loser column, but it's a lot easier now to find loosely-defined winners than it was during the wee hours of Sunday morning when bleary-eyed media in New York waited for word of a deal and seemingly millions of people followed on Twitter, hanging on every word out of the toxic CBA talks.
And a final word about Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr: They shall remain conspicuously absent from either the winners or losers column. Both men "won" things for their side, but they also probably came out tainted from being heavily associated with this grimy mess. Fehr found out that rolling NHL owners was not at all as easy as it was in Major League Baseball, yet it can rightly be said that his patience (OK, stall tactics) paid off in great concessions from the league in the end. Bettman got his owners a seven-percent gain in all future revenues, along with more favorable contract rules. He also lost his cool while dealing with Fehr, and of course saw a third work stoppage in his soon to be 20-year tenure. Maybe neither man really lost. But they certainly didn't win, either.