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2004-05 NHL Lockout News Archive

We followed the long, agonizing process of the 2004-05 NHL lockout, from the early days of haggling and posturing to the final agreement in July of 2005.
  1. Fallout From A Lost Season
  2. NHL Lockout Basics

July 13/05 - On the 301st day of the NHL lockout, the NHL and its Players' Association have announced a tentative collective agreement.

Quotes from the End of the NHL Lockout
Here's a selection of hockey quotes, as fans players and reporters react to the end of the NHL's worst season.

No More Cheap Excuses
You may or may not believe the NHL's new collective agreement is good for hockey. But at least the new system should sweep away the following flimsy excuses, long favoured by incompetent hockey teams.

"A Whole New Game"
July 1/05 - The Canadian Press reports that an NHL collective agreement is only days away. Over at TSN, hockey analyst Bob McKenzie agrees that the nightmare will soon be over. He also reveals the slogan for the NHL's post-lockout marketing blitz: "A Whole New Game."

The New NHL Landscape: What We Know So Far
June 16/05 - Based on the media consensus, here's what we know about the next NHL collective bargaining agreement. It's worth checking out, because this league is in for a major overhaul.

Does Sidney Crosby Need the NHL? Not at this Price
July 5/05 - How much will it cost to hire Sidney Crosby to play in the NHL? If reports from the NHL negotiating table are true, earnings for his first four seasons in the league could be capped as low as $850,000 per year.

Kissing Butts With Jeremy Roenick
June 29/05 - Hockey news is scarce around the end of June, so a tirade from Jeremy Roenick fills the hole nicely. Last Saturday, the Flyers' center took a shot at fans who blame the players for the NHL lockout.

Building the 21st Century NHL Contender
June 21/05 - With a salary cap coming in the next collective agreement, assembling a team on the cheap will be the NHL norm.

NHL Players Agree to Salary Cap
June 8/05 - The NHL Players' Association has finally backed down. The players and the league have signed off on a salary cap, and are ready to move on to other issues in the negotiation of a new collective agreement.

NHL Losers Continue Labor Talks
June 1/05 - They've agreed on the basic system. Now they need to sort out the numbers and the endless details. If widespread media reports are to be trusted, that's the current state of affairs between the NHL and NHL Players' Association.

NHL Crawling Towards Inevitable Labour Deal
May 25/05 - They've agreed on the basic system. Now they need to sort out the numbers and the endless details. If widespread media reports are to be trusted, that's the current state of affairs between the NHL and NHL Players' Association.

A Light at the End of the NHL Tunnel?
May 20/05 - The NHL and NHL Players' Association met four times this week, including a couple of very long meetings on Thursday and Friday, and made civil statements when it was over.

NHL Blinks on Replacement Players
April 20/05 - The NHL is backing off on the worst idea in hockey history: the threat to begin next season without real NHL players.

NHL Wheels Continue to Spin
April 19/05 - The NHL and the Players' Association held another useless meeting on Tuesday, then issued the usual boring press releases grumbling about "no progress" and promising to meet again soon.

Crystal Ball Week in the NHL
Apr. 3/05 - The future of the National Hockey League is on the agenda this week, starting with Monday's meeting between the NHL and NHL Players' Association.

Pick a Salary Cap, any Salary Cap
Mar. 17/05 - Two offers from the NHL today. In hockey labor jargon, they are classified as the "linked" and "de-linked" proposal:

NHL and NHLPA Resume Hot Air Emissions
Mar. 01/05 - The NHL and NHL Players' Association held seperate meetings today, trying to figure out their next moves.

Whose Stanley Cup Is It Anyway?
Frustrated NHL fans are rallying around a movement to pry the Stanley Cup from the NHL's greasy little hands. The Free Stanley campaign began with three men in Edmonton, who believe the trophy should not spend a year gathering dust.

NHL Commissioner Plays the Wide-Eyed Innocent
Feb. 21/05 - Gary Bettman says he was "set up" by the NHL Players' Association last weekend. The NHL commissioner told WFAN radio in New York that Saturday's failed negotiating session was orchestrated by the players to make the league look bad.

Bettman and Goodenow Are Not the Problem
Feb. 21/05 - Goodenow and Bettman give us two convenient, highly visible and annoying targets. If the two of them suddenly vanished from the hockey world, never to be seen again, the tears shed would not fill a thimble.

It's Time for the NHL To Go Away
Feb. 19/05 - Having already canceled the 2004-05 season, the NHL continues to humiliate itself in public. An unexpected negotiating session on Saturday raised hopes across the hockey world. But the end result, as always, was abject failure.

Can the NHL Season be "Un-Canceled"?
Feb. 18/05 - Three days after writing off the season, the NHL and NHL Players' Association have agreed to meet again. They'll get together Saturday in New York, which suggets that a settlement to the NHL lockout is within reach.

Rebellion Brewing in the NHL Players' Association?
Feb. 18/05 - Rumors continue to suggest that solidarity is very shaky in the NHL players' union.

NHL Fans Working Through Their Denial
Feb. 17/05 - There's something very sad about seeing hockey fans claim that they don't care, they've moved on and to heck with those millionaire owners and millionaire players.

Where Do NHL Players Go From Here?
Feb. 16/05 - How would you like to be a fly on the wall at the next membership meeting of the NHL Players’ Association?

NHL Cancels 2004-05 Season, Descends to Farce
Feb 16/05 - Wiping out an entire season is a lead pipe to the shaky knees of the pro hockey industry, and an insult to NHL fans. We knew that all along. But to cancel a season after the events of the last 48 hours only thickens the fog of farce, pettiness and bumbling incompetence surrounding the league.

Bettman and Goodenow: Selected Letters
Feb. 15/05 - Handed a golden opportunity to end the NHL lockout, the league commissioner is doing his best to alienate the players. Gary Bettman wrote NHL Players' Association president Bob Goodenow Tuesday, telling him the league's final offer is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition, and adopting a high-and-mighty tone right off the top.

Season or No Season, the NHL Appears to Have a Breakthrough
Feb. 15/05 - With yesterday's concessions, the NHL and its Players' Association suddenly appear seperated only by the usual give-and-take required to reach any collective bargaining agreement.

NHL Players Offer to Play Under a Salary Cap
Feb. 15/05 - Working to beat the clock, negotiators from both sides met on Monday. No deal was reached, and no deal is expected. But according to the NHL Players' Association, the two sides finally moved off their ideological thrones.

NHL Talks Implode
Feb. 10/05 - Talks ended... blah, blah... no progress... blah, blah.... bleak prospects... blah, blah... no further talks... blah, blah... unreasonable... blah, blah... pointless... blah, blah, blah.

NHL Season Will be Cancelled as of Monday
Feb. 09/05 - NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the 2005-06 season is dead "if we are not drafting documents" on a new collective agreement by the end of this weekend. Bettman and his team met with the Players' Association earlier in the day, and offered a trial run of two opposing collective bargaining agreements.

NHL Fans Sick of the Mushroom Treatment,
Feb. 9/05 - When he broke with the Detroit Red Wings back in the 1970s, after 25 seasons as a player and a couple of years in an office, Gordie Howe said he was tired of being treated like a mushroom: "They keep you completely in the dark and every once in a while they come in and throw manure on you."

Memo to the NHL: Don't Hurry Back
Feb. 1/05 - If you're not playing hockey by now, there's no point in starting. Same goes for the NHL. There are plenty of convincing reasons not to begin a quickie NHL season.

NHL Negotiating Charade Leads Nowhere
Jan. 27/05 - Talks between the NHL and NHL Players' Association have broken off. No further meetings are scheduled.

The Edmonton Oilers and Their Version of "The Truth"
Jan. 27/04 - According to the NHL, players' salaries are the root of all evil. It's the reason why many teams can't win. Its why those teams make terrible trades and clueless free agent signings. It's why some arenas are half empty.

Nothing To See Here: NHL Stalemate Lives On
Jan. 20/05 - This week's meetings ended with nothing new to report. A new collective agreement remains hung up on "very strong philosophical differences," in the words of NHL vice president Bill Daly.

NHL and Players to Meet Without Goodenow or Bettman
Jan. 17/05 - Pessimism prevails, but the NHL and its Players' Association have agreed to meet Wednesday, with new personalities seeking a compromise to end to the current lockout.

Rallying Cry of the NHL Lockout: "Save the Incompetent!"
Jan. 12/05 - While the stooges at NHL head office continue to dither, refusing to name a cancellation date for this season, at least one team owner suffered an attack of plain speaking this week. "My gut feeling is that this season's gone," said the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Nothing to Report As Clock Ticks Down on NHL Season
Jan. 06/05 - Since their last bargaining session in December, the NHL and its Players' Association have shown a pitiful lack of urgency in trying to settle their labor dispute.

NHL and Players' Association Agree: The Other Guy's Offer Stinks
Dec. 14/04 - The league rejected a proposal made last week by the Players' Association. The players rejected the NHL's counter-proposal. No further talks are scheduled, and NHL hockey has never seemed as far away as it does today.

"That's what happens in Canada when there's no hockey..."
Dec. 13/04 - While the rest of us wring hands and furrow brows over the NHL and its labor mess, Brett Hull can only laugh.

Senators' Billionaire Owner Says NHL Players' Offer "Doesn't Work"
Dec. 13/04 - The owner of the Ottawa Senators describes the latest proposal from the NHL Players' Association as "a one-shot deal that doesn't work."

A 24 Per Cent Solution to the NHL Lockout?
Dec. 9/04 - It's not enough to get a deal done, but NHL players took everyone by surprise today when they offered to take a whopping 24 per cent pay cut. That's part of a proposal made by the Players' Association at the first collective bargaining session since the NHL locked out the players on September 15.

NHL Lockout on the Verge of Breakthrough or Breakdown
Dec. 8/04 - The NHL Players' Association will present its new proposal tomorrow in a meeting with commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL bargaining team.

Faint Hope for an NHL Season: Collective Bargaining Resumes
Dec. 2/04 - The NHL has accepted an invitation from the Players' Association to meet next Thursday (December 9). Now the question becomes, do they have the good sense, determination and creativity to find a solution?

NHL Lockout Sinks Canadian TV Ratings
Nov. 29/04 - Start the telethon and schedule the bake sale. Canada's TV networks need your help. Channels that usually broadcast NHL games and highlights are losing a bundle during the lockout.

NHL Lockout Breeds Discontent Across the Hockey World
Nov. 25/04 - If you can't get enough of the moaning and whining that has come to characterize the NHL lockout, you will want to see the latest comments frokm players and management regarding the lack of negotiations. Even the fans in Europe are unhappy.

NHL Lockout Roundup: Sound and Fury Signifying No Hockey
Nov. 19/04 - It's been another week with no progress towards a new collective agreement, that goes without saying. But there's plenty of bickering and obfuscation, if you go in for that sort of thing.

The Perils of an NHL Salary Cap
Nov. 7/04 - While many hockey fans support the NHL's demand for a salary cap, you don’t have to dig very far before flaws in the concept begin to emerge.

NHL Players Hold Fast: "We're willing to wait as long as it takes.''
Nov. 3/04 - As expected, there was much talk of unity, solidarity and fighting the good fight following Tuesday's meeting of the NHL Players' Association. For more lockout news, go to "The Latest on the Lockout" in the right-hand column.

Restless Players Want Action, Bettman Hides in the Weeds
Oct. 31/04 - "It's the role players on the team who are going to get screwed in all of this," says one NHL veteran.

Both Sides Taking Heat for "Asinine" NHL Lockout
An ordinary defenseman and a hockey legend are among those losing patience with the NHL lockout. "It's asinine and it's both sides," says Andrew Ference of the Calgary Flames.

Rumblings in the Players' Ranks
Oct. 18/04 - You can bet the NHL Players' Association will be quick to downplay the talk from several Florida Panthers, who say they would consider going back to work if the NHL decided to use replacement players.

Both Sides Fiddle While the Game Burns
Oct. 11/04 - Rather than choose sides in the NHL lockout, an increasing number of hockey fans are flipping the middle finger to everyone involved in this shameful standoff.

Time to Speak Out on the NHL Lockout
Sept. 20/04 - Public pressure might not end the NHL lockout. But it can't hurt, so why not take a few minutes to tell the NHL and its Players' Association what you think?

The First NHL Players' Strike
The hockey business has a long and sometimes ugly history, dating back to the drop of the first puck. If you're pining for the good old days, take a moment to consider the story of two players who led the first strike in NHL history.

Players Make Alternate Plans
Sept. 18/04 - Something called the Original Stars Hockey League shuddered to life last night. It's a collection of NHL players who will tour small towns during the lockout. With training camps shut down, players are trying to find somewhere to skate and stay in shape.

Bettman & Goodenow Have Nothing Left to Say
Sept. 23/04 - If you enjoy seeing frustrated hockey fans get white-washed by a pair of sharpies, check out the latest from Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow.

NHL Lockout Follies: America Yawns, Media Hacks Choose Sides
Sept. 17/04 - For the NHL and its idle stars, the most disturbing news after two days of a labor shutdown is that almost nobody in the United States appears to have noticed.

NHL Lockout Begins at Midnight
Sept. 15/04 - The National Hockey League has officially closed shop. As expected, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced today that the league will not play until it has a new collective bargaining agreement with its players.

NHL Collective Bargaining: The Gulf Widens
Sept. 10/04 - The NHL Players' Association made a proposal to the league today. But as that proposal did not include a salary cap, it went nowhere. That's about all you need to know about the latest negotiations on a new NHL collective bargaining agreement.

NHL Collective Bargaining: It's the Players' Move
Sept. 2/04 - Emerging from two-and-a-half days of meetings, the NHL and its players had little to report on Thursday morning. League vice president Bill Daly says there were no negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement.

Get Set for the Lockout: NHL Labor Talks Turn Nasty
Aug. 26/04 - Hopes that the 2004-05 NHL season might start on time took a serious blow today. League officials emerged from two days of bargaining with the NHL Players' Association and turned up the hostile rhetoric.

NHL Labor Talks: No Progress, More Rhetoric.
Aug. 4/04 - Emerging from the latest bargaining session between the NHL and its Players' Association, league commissioner Gary Bettman offered the following: "It takes two to make a deal."

NHL Labor Talks Produce Another Collective Shrug
July 22/04 - The protagonists are starting to look familiar. After each meeting, the NHL vice president makes hopeful noises, while his counterpart at the Players' Association insists that there is nothing to be optimistic about.

League and Players Spar Over the NHL Financial Mess
Feb. 13/04 - According to the NHL Players' Association, team owners do not need a new collective bargaining agreement in order to cut costs. If teams are losing money because they pay the players too much, all they have to do is pay the players less.

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