Kids playing hockey on pond
Center Ice of hockey rink

Since the formation of the National Hockey League in 1917, the first strike, or lock out, in the NHL was in April of 1992.

Under the leadership of freshly-appointed Bob Goodenow, the NHLPA went on strike for 10 days before coming to a resolution with the owners. The players and owners agreed on a two-year contract for the players to own the rights to their marketable images.

Even then the league had some insight on the future trend of decreasing revenue and increasing player salary.

The 1994-1995 NHL season came to a halt for 104 days after NHL president, Gary Bettman, attempted to initiate a payroll tax. Similarly, the NHLPA felt the league was trying to impose a salary cap.

The 1994 lock out came to settlement with a mutual agreement on a restrictive rookie salary cap and limits on free agency. However, the players proposed a five percent tax on the 16 richest teams (a form of revenue sharing), but the owners quickly shot it down. Eventually, both camps agreed on a six-year contract. The contract was later extended an extra four years.

Now the CBA is expired and the players and owners are back where they started -- Locked out!

Hopefully, both the NHLPA and the NHL can come to mutual terms and salvage the season. The deadline to have a shortened season in early January.

Maybe the players and the owners should go back to where they found the love of the game.

Back to the pond.

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Copyright © 2004 Dan Jimmerson. All rights reserved