As the NHL Lockout drags on, no new talks have taken place and no progress seems to be made towards an agreement between the NHL owners and the players’ union. The statement made by the National Hockey League only indicated that two weeks worth of games would be cancelled, and said nothing about whether they would be made up during an accelerated schedule if play eventually resumes.
“We were extremely disappointed to have to make today’s announcement,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. “The game deserves better, the fans deserve better, and the people who derive income from their connection to the NHL deserve better. We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams and good for our fans. This is not about ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ a negotiation. This is about finding a solution that preserves the long-term health and stability of the league and the game. We are committed to getting this done.”
The union countered Thursday by saying the NHL forced the lockout onto the players instead of letting the season go on as planned.
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“The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners. If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue.”
Players, fans, and coaches are all hoping that a lockout like the one in 2004, which cancelled the entire season, is avoided. Despite the fact that there have been some negotiations on both sides, an element that severely lacked in the 2004 lockout, neither side is any closer to an agreement, which doesn’t sit well with anyone involved. There is a lot of stress on players and fans who were finally used to seeing their sport pick up momentum in the national media.