The league can survive a two year lockout... hell, a 3 year lockout... They will be fine long term. It is the players who can't afford to miss this time.
Some run off to Europe, but there simply isn't
space for all of them. The players will cave, the owners do not care how long this takes... The guy who signs your paycheck will ultimately be the one who determines how much of the pie he gives you.
Sure, the KHL will steal primarily Russian superstars if the NHL is locked out long term. But you aren't going to get the majority of Americans/Canadians to sign oversees... moving
Their families, being across the pond fromextended family and friends... when the NHL comes back with the deal they want. You
are not going to get the American/Canadian fan bases to ignore the NHL and pay attention solely to the KHL and other elite leagues overseas.
The players are not 'partners'. They are tradable commodities that at any moment can be traded, injured, etc.
The sooner the players realize this, the sooner we can get back to hockey.
Wouldn't be surprised if Kovalchuk, Datsyuk , Ovechkin etc. stayed in Russia even when the lock-out is done, if it goes long-term.