The NHL's first proposal to the NHLPA was just that, a first proposal. Of course they'll shoot for the sky. They know they won't get it, but it's all part of the game. I'm not going to worry until mid-Sept, and if there's no light at the end of the tunnel at that point, then yeah, we're looking at missing some time.
Columbus GM Howson is taking a lot of heat for not getting enough in return for Nash, but I don't think the trade pieces were that poor. Dubinsky has value, Anisimov had a good season in 2012, and Erixon (the wild card in the deal) could end up being a top shelf dman in the coming years. There's that 1st round draft pick too. But yeah, senile Sather had to make that deal if that's what the Jackets proposed or were willing to do.