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“Going forward here, we know what the risks are, we know what precautions we need to take,” Brouwer said. “And at the same point, we’re still staying strong to our principles, and we want to make sure that there’s a fair deal for both sides.”

In the meantime, it hurts to miss paychecks for those who haven’t signed to play overseas or in a minor league in North America. But escrow checks for last season arrived this week, and many players made it clear that money won’t be a problem.

“I think every player is smart with that side of things, and it’s not really something to worry about,” Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “Our biggest concern is our future and our future in this game, and supporting ourselves and our families. [This is] our way to earn a living, and we work hard at it. We’ve earned how far we’ve come, every single player top to bottom, and it’s something that’s worth standing up for at this point.”

Despite what likely will be diminishing returns — at least in the short term — on the new CBA, players aren’t standing for being punched in the face.

“I hope this gets solved and I don’t have to worry about it. But if it doesn’t right now, I’m on board. I’m on board with the union,” Thornton said. “It’s out of my hands to a degree, so you just try and make the best of it. If I’ve got to go back to the steel factory, I’ve got to go back to the steel factory.”