Note: This originally was meant as an ongoing assignment for school, will be adding onto it as news develops.
The story so far:
The NHL, (National Hockey League) and it’s player’s union, the NHLPA, (National Hockey League’s Players Association) have been in multiple meetings over the past two months discussing the terms and conditions to a new CBA, (Collective Bargaining Agreement). This agreement was set to expire on September 15th, 2012 after a 6-year duration. If a new agreement was not met by the set date, the NHL would have no other choice but to “lock” it’s players out from playing, resulting in zero hockey games played at the NHL level until an agreement was made.
The last NHL lockout was in the 2004-2005 season, which began on September 16th, 2004 and lasted 10 months and 6 days, ending on July 22nd, 2004. Previous to that, a lockout occurred during the 1994-95 season, and also in 1992. In the past 20 years there have been four lockouts, all over salary and revenue distributions.
The main focus of the 2004-05 lockout was a salary cut for the NHL players. Player’s salaries were cut by 24%, leaving the players earning 57% of profit made by the NHL, and the owners making 43%. The main focus of the recent contract made by the NHL for the NHLPA was another reduction in salary. The NHL stated that they wanted to cut player salaries by 8% in the upcoming season, and then proceed to gradually raise it to a total of 10% by the end of six years, resulting in players only making 47% in revenue. The NHLPA did not agree to these terms and conditions, resulting in a lockout.
What’s the latest?
On September 19, 2012, Commissioner of the NHL Gary Bettman held a meeting with the leagues office staffers and executive leaders stating that all NHL staff would receive a 20% pay cut and reduction of workweeks from 5 to 4 days. This plan was put in order to avoid potential layoffs if the lockout continued for an extended period of time, but did not necessarily guarantee there would be none, as stated by Bettman.
The NHLPA has announced that it will cover player’s premiums including medical, dental, disability, life and accidental death and spousal life insurance. If players are planning to play hockey in Europe this year it will be their responsibility to obtain their own disability insurance through their agent and new team. Premiums are on two-month policies that are set based on injury history, age, and contract length.
With the NHL locking out its players as of September 16, 2012 at 12:00am, formal talks between the NHL and the NHLPA have yet to occur. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and special counsel Steve Fehr have spoken informally, but nothing it set to officially happen between the two organizations until Wednesday, September 19, 2012. In the previous 2004-05 lockout, the NHL and NHLPA did not speak to each other formally for months. Until this meeting occurs and it’s content and purpose released to the public, the fans sit eagerly wondering when exactly NHL hockey will return.