Lockout chronology Some
of the highlights from the longest lockout in professional sports
CBC Sports Online | Last updated July 13, 2005
Sept. 15, 2004: After a couple of meetings last week between the NHL and NHLPA, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman emerges from a board of governors meeting and announces a lockout.
Sept. 21: More than 150 NHLers sign on with European clubs.
The list grows to 350 by mid-January.
Sept 29: NHL executive vice-president and chief legal officer Bill Daly announces there will be no hockey in October.
Oct. 13: First official day of what would have been the 2004-05
NHL regular season.
Oct. 27: Flames defenceman Mike Commodore is the first player to break from NHLPA line, saying he would play under a salary cap if it was fair to both sides.
Oct. 28: Habs winger Pierre Dagenais tells La Presse says he too would play under a salary cap. The comment draws heated reaction from some other NHLPA member.
Nov. 2: NHLPA holds a four-hour meeting with 74 players in Toronto. They emerge saying they are willing to sit out the entire season if it means avoiding a salary cap.
Dec. 2: During the NHL's general managers meeting in Manhattan, the union announces it has invited the league back to the negotiating table with a new proposal.
Dec. 9: At a much-publicized meeting between the two sides in Toronto, the union captures headlines by offering a 24 per cent salary rollback on all existing contracts. No salary cap is in the NHLPA's proposal, but there are also concessions on the entry-level system, qualifying offers and a luxury tax.
Dec. 14: Both sides meet in Toronto again. As expected, the
NHL rejects the union's proposal. The league offers its own, including
a salary cap, scrapping salary arbitration and a restructuring of
the 24 per cent rollback to take more money away from the higher-paid
players. The union rejects it.
Dec. 22: NHL confirms that it has scheduled a board of governors meeting for Jan. 14. Rumours abound that the league will announce a drop-dead date on that day.
Jan. 6: NHL cancels Jan. 14 owners meeting.
Jan. 17: Linden invites a small contingent from both sides back to the negotiating table. It's hoped this group, minus Bettman and Goodenow, can find common ground.
Jan. 19: A six-man group resume labour talks in O'Hare Airport
in Chicago. The meeting lasts five hours and they promise to meet
Jan. 20: A 4 ½-meeting between the group, which is missing Calgary owner Harry Hotchkiss, makes little progress. The salary cap is still the major decisive issue.
Jan. 21: NHLPA president Trevor Linden says the league won't move off their salary cap position.
Jan. 24: Another small group meets in Toronto, but can't make any progress in talks.
Jan. 27: A four-hour evening meeting at a secret location in New York once again produces nothing.
Feb. 2: Only Daly, Ted Saskin, and two legal representatives meet in Newark, N.J. League tables a lengthy, 15-point proposal, but the NHLPA rejects it. The union calls for next-day meeting with Bettman and Goodenow involved.
Feb. 3: The first sign of real progress. A nine-hour meeting involving Bettman, Goodenow, Daly, Saskin and two legal representatives ends at 10:30 p.m. ET in Toronto.
Feb. 4: The same six-man group meets again in New York. The session lasts four hours. Goodenow says no progress was made, while Daly says the talks were productive.
Feb. 9: The NHL springs a surprise meeting on the union. Only Bettman, Goodenow, Daly and Saskin join the talks. League offers a "compromise" deal, but the union rejects it. Bettman announces the entire 2004-05 season will be cancelled if a deal isn't on paper by the weekend.
Feb. 10: NHL, NHLPA part ways after another round of failed talks.
Feb. 11: Daly speaks for the first time about a salary cap not tied to revenues. NHL-imposed gag order on owners is released, giving general managers and coaches the ability to talk about the lockout to the media and reach out to players without fear of penalty.
Feb. 13: The two sides join U.S. federal mediators at the request
of the director of U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
Once again, no progress.
Feb. 14: Saskin and Daly stage a secret meeting in Niagara
Falls, N.Y. Although they says there's no progress in the day's talks,
it is revealed later both sides altered their negotiating positions
in an effort to save the season. The NHL offers a $40-million salary
cap without linkage and the players respond with a $53-million salary
cap. The NHL rejects the union's offer.
Feb. 15: The NHL offers an ultimatum, saying the union has until 11 a.m. ET to accept a salary cap of $42.5 million. Goodenow tries to negotiate, making an offer of a $49-million cap. The league rejects it.
Feb. 16: Bettman cancels the 2004-05 NHL season at a news conference in New York.
Feb. 17: Backroom calls start between the players and owners
in an effort to save the season.
Feb. 18: Both sides confirm another meeting will take place in an attempt to "uncancel" the season.
Feb. 19: Legends Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky join the emergency session at a Manhattan hotel. Rumours circulate a deal would involve a $45-million cap, but both sides can't come together.
March 1: League says the 2005-06 season will go ahead as scheduled
and hints at using replacement players after a board of governors
March 11: First meeting since emergency session between the two sides.
March 17: NHL tables a couple of offers to union. The NHLPA rejects both of them.
March 22-25: NHLPA top brass and players' executive committees
spend four days in Pebble Beach, Calif. While out west, they come
up with the idea of upper and lower limit on salary cap. The idea
is the basis that leads to new collective bargaining agreement.
April 4: The biggest turning point in the CBA. The union introduces the upper and lower limit to NHL. The league finds merit in the idea.
April 19 - June 15: Both sides continue discussions, meeting a total of 31 times in May and June alone to an effort to complete a new CBA. Rumours circulate during this time that a deal is imminent.
July 13: A tentative deal is reached after a marathon bargaining session.
July 21: NHLPA members vote 87 per cent in favour of adopting new labour agreement.
July 22: NHL's board of governors vote unanimously to ratify
deal, effectively ending the 2004-05 season.