NHL Imposes League-Wide Lockout

By Community | September 17, 2012

The National Hockey League has locked out its players, generic having failed to reach an agreement with the NHL Players’ Association on a new labour deal before the September 25 deadline.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr had been in negotiations concerning revenue sharing and compensation for the previous four days.

On September 12, owners offered players 47 percent of hockey-related revenue, one percentage point higher than their previous proposal.

The stumbling block, according to Fehr, is that the Union’s offer tied the players’ share to revenue growth, which would see the proportion decrease as hockey-related revenue increases.

Another conflict revolves around salary arbitration and the length of unrestricted free agency.

It is the second time in seven seasons that the NHL have enforced a lockout and will likely see an exodus of players to Europe, with All-Stars Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar already agreed personal terms to play for Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

Within the past eighteen years, the NHL has witnessed three lockouts, including a reduction of the number of games during the 1994-95 season and a cancellation of the 2004-05 campaign.

The 2012-13 season is penciled in for a October 11 start.

“This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room,” the NFL wrote in a letter addressing the fans.

“The league, the clubs and the players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans.”

NHL Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly, shed some light on the situation, declaring that neither the league nor the players were willing to budge of its last proposal.

Daly said: “I’m sure we will keep in touch in the coming days and schedule meetings to the extent they might be useful or appropriate.

“We are sorry for where we are. Not what we hoped or expected.”