And it’s official: NHL lockout begins

Gary Bettman

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the media this past Thursday, an almost certain lockout on the horizon.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

The National Hockey League has entered its third lockout under Commissioner Gary Bettman.

At 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday night, the NHL locked out its players as the current collective bargaining agreement between the two sides expired.

From Canadian Press reporter Chris Johnston in a story filed before the midnight padlocks were snapped shut: “And so the NHL heads into its fourth work stoppage in two decades. An 11-day strike in April 1992 caused 30 games to be postponed, while a 103-day lockout in 1994-95 forced the cancellation of 468 games and delayed the season’s start until Jan. 20. The 2004 lockout began Sept. 16 and wasn’t settled until July 13 — making the NHL the first North American sports league to ever cancel an entire season over a labour dispute.”

More to come in the hours – and days and perhaps weeks – ahead. For now, a platform to express your views.

Below: NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images


  1. sailor2963 says:

    NHL hockey does not belong to the fans, it does not belong to the players, it belongs to the owners. They chose Bettman as their negotiator/spokesperson, they are the ones who locked the arenas and have shut down the game. NHL hockey is their game, it is as simple as that. Get over your otherwise romantic notions about NHL hockey and get on with life.

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  3. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I sense a depth of anger this time, from the players as well as hockey fans greater than even the year of the complete lost season

    …the most visible commonality being Bettman

    …it will interesting to see how far and where that anger goes

  4. cowellj17 says:

    What a greedy bunch of fucking assholes, both sides of the table…..I side more with the players this time, but honestly, get your heads out of your asses and look around at the people who make this game run, the fans!! fuck you millionaires

  5. jew4jah says:

    go bulldogs!

    chara = חרה

  6. HabFab says:

    So for all the HIO gang…what do you think it will take to end this lockout??

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Unfortunately, I think it will take the Union blinking first, unless the owners are not as unified as they portray. I do believe that the wealthy owners are okay with the previous CBA, however, Bettman has promised the weaker owners an agreement which will help them, but I don’t believe the wealthy owners are willing to pay for such help.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I agree with Burly. This seems to be about changing the financial terms of the league to preserve franchises that may not be able to support professional hockey. These cities certainly cannot support their teams under the current state. So the solution to me is either attrition of some teams or the players will need to agree to massive changes in percentage of revenue. This sucks.


      • HabFab says:

        43% to cover expenses doesn’t leave much room for profits.
        About 8 of 30 teams are strong financially.
        Another 8 are borderline.
        10-11 need help.
        3-4 are desperate .

        • commandant says:

          The players are already willing to drop from 57 to some lower amount, they just wish to do it over time, taking 54 this year and continuing to drop til they reach 51-52 %. The owners on the other had want immediate cuts and want the players down to 47%.

          Of those teams 28 could probably be financially healthy with proper revenue sharing. 2 need to move and are beyond hope.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Revenue sharing without analysis of taxation each team pays would be wrong. I don’t want the Habs penalized further for having passionate fansetc.

          • HabsWinn-ipeg says:

            Forbes reported for 2010-11 that 12 teams had a profit of 252 million (approx) and 18 lost 126 million (approx). The top 12 teams would have to share 50% of their profit at that rate – not going to happen. I agree that revenue sharing should be better, but in the end the owners need lower expenses in order for the majority of the teams to break even/make a profit. The top three teams (Tor/NYR/Mtl) accounted for about 170 million of the profit.

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      A sudden and tragic end to Mr Bettman.

  7. HabFab says:

    Stu’s latest. A lot of talking for the fans but none to each other sums up Day 1;

  8. habsfan0 says:

    My great nephew Lucas says the lockout will be over soon,and he knows what he’s talking about.

  9. commandant says:

    In 2 minutes we launch Last Word On Sports Radio.

    For our first show… this week in the NFL.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  10. The Cat says:

    Ed Lopaz, you asked whats the difference to euro players wholl lose their jobs? None of course. But you know what they say: shit rolls downhill. And again, its a lockout initiated by the owners who want to renege on what they agreed with on the last CBA. Im open minded but I dont see how anyone can side with the owners. I dont see any arguement for them.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I find it interesting that you use the term renege. Didn’t both the players and the owners agree that the previous CBA would last 7 years? The owners have not asked to renege on the previous agreement, they are quite simply negotiating to make the next agreement different. This doesn’t make me pro-owner, but rather pro-accuracy.

      A contract between the Players and the Owners has expired, the owners nor the players are binded any longer to the previous deal. Yes, the owners want the next deal different, but they are not reneging.

      • The Cat says:

        Youre right. Im no expert on this. Thank you for showing the nuance.

        [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Cat, I’m not trying to be a nitpicker, I just get frustrated when the discussions seem to be so Pro-player and almost absolving the players of any involvement or fault.

          I have posted previously, that I believe the owners should show some honesty and contrition in admitting the previous agreement left loopholes which they themselves exposed, took advantage of and essentially hurt themselves.

          Instead they argue with arrogance, which is a terrible way to show oneself.

          I wish the owners could negotiate honestly, just as I wish the players could do the same.

      • commandant says:

        No, the players and the owners agreed that there would be an option to end the deal after 7 years. The deal could have continued if neither side voted to terminate it.

        The Owners sent notice to the players last year that they were terminating the agreement (at their option).

        However it was not agreed as a 7 year deal, it could have been longer, if the owners didn’t opt out.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

        • HabinBurlington says:

          So how does that qualify as reneging, when they the option to exercise an option?

          • commandant says:

            I didn’t say they reneged on it, just clarifying that the deal could have gone on if the Owners were willing to. This season could have been played, with not threat of a strike or lockout if the owners wanted to.

            I dont see it as reneging, but I do find it curious given a few things.

            1) The Owners basically got everything they asked for 7 years ago.
            2) The Owners hate this deal so much, and its so bad, but they couldn’t get contract extensions and contracts signed under its terms fast enough this season.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

        • GrimJim says:

          If I remember correctly, it was a six year deal, with an NHLPA option for a seventh year and a rollover clause for future years provided neither side choose to, and gave due notice of said decision to, terminate. As well I’m pretty sure there was a renegotiation clause at the NHLPA’s choice after the third year, so technically this CBA could have ended in 2008, but my memory may be faulty…

      • Stuck_in_To. says:

        I think, like many fans, he is stuck on the proposed rollback of existing contracts which I think is in the spirit of reneging.

        EDIT: Or not … I type slowly.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          But any CBA agreed upon by both parties (including rollbacks) is agreed upon, it is not a reneging, it is an acceptance of new terms and condtions in the new CBA.

  11. Geoff Molson is offering Canadiens season ticket holders 3% interest rate on deposits for cancelled games. Generous guy!
    I posted the entire letter he sent today on my site in case you are interested.
    The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site:
    Twitter: @teliopost

    • Ron says:

      Come on now, whats it going to be. Is this Geoff Molson that you describe here as a generous guy the same Geoff Molson who owns the Canadiens that you described as screwing the fans with their preseason ticket packages on yesterdays article ? 3% changes your thoughts that easy. Lol

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    Steelers starting to show some promise! I couldn’t imagine the fall season with no NHL and no NFL. That would really suck.

  13. sailor2963 says:

    Shame on the Canadiens ownership for their lack of leadership in resolving this issue. They continue to support Bettman as he failed to negotiate fairly and implemented a lock-out that Bettman manufactured.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Sailor, I understand your frustration bud. Right there with you but it might be a tad unfair to single out the Hab’s leadership here. Especially since none of us know what really is occurring behind closed doors. I can’t imagine the profitable franchises are as enthusiastic about this lockout as the other 2/3’s. Hang in there. Hopefully it won’t last too long.


    • commandant says:

      Bettman didn’t manufacture anything.

      I think you have things confused.

      Bettman works for the owners and he does what a majority of the board of governors tells him to do. The Habs are but 1/30th of that board of governors.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I would love to read the minutes of the owners meeting which you have clearly identifying that in fact Geoff Molson had nothing but support for Gary Bettman in this latest issue.

      You do recall that Molson was less than impressed with how the league handled the Chara hit on Max-Pac correct?

      Essentially what I gather from your statement is that Ryan White and Blunden are 100% in support of not wanting to negotiate whatsover with the NHL and would prefer to make no money this upcoming season or better yet would prefer to play in the AHL instead of being NHL players this upcoming season.

      I realize the owners “reportedly voted unanimously” for the lockout, but we have no idea how the discussions actually went. I personally think Molson was okay with the old deal, but don’t know. I do know that I can’t tell you certainly that he failed to negotiate with Bettman.

  14. habs11s says:

    So HIO, how will you be spending your free time now that the lockout is official?


    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  15. Not sure if posted but fellow Habs Yannick Weber and Raphael Diaz have signed with the Swiss league and Plekanec has signed with the KHL.

    • chemic says:

      narp, pleks is headed home to HC kladno alongside with Jagr !

      Weber is still undecided because his the second or third choice behind Mark Streit and Roman Jossi for two possible clubs in switzerland. if Streit is gone on the “market”, Weber gets the call.

      Diaz however is mostly bound to his former club EV Zug and there is almost no other way he will play for another team.

      just to get that stuff right…..

  16. AceMagnum says:

    So how many times are we gonna see Harry Potter on CBC Saturday nights this winter?



  17. habs-hampton says:

    So, Ive given up on NHL hockey and switch to watching more NFL. I was just watching the Pats-Cards game ( on the CTV feed) and the Cards blow it with a fumble with a minute left… or do they? With 6 seconds and a chip shot field goal for the Pats win, and no timeouts left, THEY GO TO COMMERCIAL!!!! They come back in time for me to see a replay of the Pats blowing it!!!

    I hate all teams from Boston and I miss a beautiful moment after watching the game for 3 hours!!

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