We should know to expect it from Gary Bettman.
With Tuesday's stroke, the NHL commissioner caught everyone off guard, made the league look like a sincere negotiator, and shifted all the season-saving pressure to the players.
The key is a proposed 50/50 split of league revenues between employer and player, which will strike most folks as very reasonable.
(It might seem less so to the players. The hockey business has seen spectacular growth in recent years, and now they're supposed to take a pay cut?)
So why didn't the players get this "reasonable" offer a couple of months ago?
Maybe because that would have given them the luxury of time - time to think it over, ask for more, probe for weaknesses in the owners position.
That luxury no longer exists, according to Bettman.
This offer is contingent on an 82-game regular season beginning November 2, with a one-week training camp.
"So we have about nine or ten days to get this all put to bed, signed, sealed and delivered, in order for this offer to be effective and for us to move forward," he told reporters.
The NHL Players' Association will surely find plenty not to like in the new document.
But it doesn't sound like a proposal they can dismiss out of hand.
If they can't shape it into an acceptable deal, and do so quickly, this lockout is on them.
Nicely played, Gary.
Culled from assorted media sources, here are the highlights of the NHL's new initiative to save the 2012-13 season.
(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)