Ice Hockey: Lock-out puts franchises under threat
Thursday 16 September 2004
The National Hockey League announced yesterday that it was locking out its players from midnight last night, a move that plunges the weakest of the major US sports into the gravest crisis in its history.
The shutdown, which many fear could wipe out the entire 2004-05 season scheduled to start on 13 October, could mean the demise of several of the existing 30 NHL franchises. It follows the failure of the owners and the players' union to agree a new 10-year labour contract.
The owners are demanding a system of salary caps, in effect reducing the current average salary of $1.8m [£1.05m] to about $1.3m [£740,000]. The union is offering only a one-off pay cut in salaries, plus a luxury tax to encourage revenue sharing and curbs on entry-level salaries.
"We're not talking the same language," Garry Bettman, the NHL commissioner, said before last night's announcement.
No talks had been held between the sides since last week and many of the league's European players have arranged to play on the other side of the Atlantic. Some of their US counterparts have taken up coaching jobs or plan to play in the lower-ranking AHL league.
Canada's 3-2 victory over Finland in the final of the World Cup of Hockey on Tuesday could be the last top-flight hockey game in North America for a year.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Aston Villa preview: I need to prove myself again at Villa, says Scott Sinclair
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City, United want Gareth Bale
Chelsea vs Manchester City player ratings: David Silva saves the day but which City star stole the show at Stamford Bridge?
Arsene Wenger photobombs Arsenal photo shoot - manages to look like famous 'Bigfoot' picture
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
- 1 Three-year-old boy shoots pregnant mother and father in New Mexico
- 2 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 4 Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...