It takes both sides to sink a sports league and plenty of blame for this insane situation. The NHL does NOT have a huge national contract with upfront $$ to justify these salaries. Most teams do operate in the red.
How is this acceptable ? Everyone like paying $70 a ticket for a Tuesday night November game ? The schedule is waaaaaaaay too long. 15 less games per season or you get a bunch of games with players just floating and saving energy.