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“I watch a lot of games now,” the Detroit Red Wings legend said. “For the last two weeks, I saw everything except NHL.”

That’s how it could be for a while, too, despite Larionov’s optimism that a deal could be done within two or three weeks. NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr said the two sides are “fairly close” on revenue sharing but not so much on other issues, such as splitting hockey-related revenue and player contracting rights. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly agreed with that assessment.

It was the go-to topic around the Hall of Fame, even though many are uncomfortable talking about collective bargaining negotiations, especially those who have no say in the matter.

Most were content to see peers for one night, reminiscing and trying to forget that there are no NHL games at the present.

“We’re all happy to be here and see hockey people and enjoy it for an evening,” Capitals general manager George McPhee said.