Article

NHL announce lockout

16 September 2012 10:56

After talks between players and the league broke down, the NHL has decided on a league-wide lockout.

The competition – which was suspended for the entire 2004-05 season in its last lockout – has been postponed until further notice, with the news hardly a shock after the collective bargaining agreement expired.

The deadline for the deal passed at midnight on Saturday, with the players and the league reportedly some distance apart on financial issues.

To the disappointment of the NHL Players Association (NHLPA), proposed talks on Saturday did not go through.

"Today, we suggested that the parties meet in advance of the owners' self-imposed deadline of midnight tonight," said NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr in a statement.

"Don Fehr (executive director of the NHLPA), myself and several players on the negotiating committee were in the city and prepared to meet.

"The NHL said that it saw no purpose in having a formal meeting. There have been and continue to be private, informal discussions between representatives of both sides."

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he felt any talks on Saturday would be worthless due to the two parties being so far apart on various issues.

"We spoke today and determined that there was no point in convening a formal bargaining session in light of the fact that neither side is in a position to move off of its last proposal," Daly said.

"I'm sure we will keep in touch in the coming days and schedule meetings to the extent they might be useful or appropriate. We are sorry for where we are. Not what we hoped or expected."

The league will take a financial hit but the players will also be hurt by the lockout, with several of them already exploring opportunities to ply their trade in competitions around the world.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby spoke of his frustration at the situation.

"We've shown we're willing to give, but they've got to be willing," Crosby said.

"It seems like there's a pretty hard line there, and they're not willing to budge."

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