Sep 16, 2012, 12:01 AM EST
The NHL’s collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET. With the two sides unable to reach a new agreement and owners unwilling to continue under the old one, the players are now officially locked out.
(Pause for dramatic effect)
This is the league’s fourth work stoppage in the last 20 years and its second in the last seven.
There’s no way of getting around it — today is a bad day for hockey, especially for the fans. Nobody wanted labor unrest to come to this.
But it has, which means it’s time to start the process of acceptance.
The first order of business? Venting! Yes, now is the opportune moment to commiserate and PHT’s comments section is the place to do it. Go ahead and express yourselves (not unlike Madonna. Or, N.W.A.)
Lay blame, share feelings, validate experiences, instill hope, show support, put aside your petty beefs and hey, maybe even express solidarity among folks you normally consider enemies. Looking at you, Flyers and Penguins fans.
As for when this thing might actually end? Here are a few key dates to keep in mind.
Sept. 23: Start of preseason
Oct. 11: Start of regular season
Nov. 23: 2012 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown (Rangers vs. Bruins)
Jan. 1: NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium (Leafs vs. Red Wings)
Jan 24-28: All-Star Weekend in Columbus
Feb. 17: Hockey Day in America (Red Wings vs. Wild, Penguins vs. Sabres, Bruins vs. Blackhawks, Flyers vs. Rangers)
Finally, here are some facts about past NHL work stoppages.
2004-05 lockout: Lasted 310 days, 1,230 games missed. The entire season was lost and it marked the first time since 1919 (flu epidemic) that the Stanley Cup wasn’t awarded. It also marked the first time a major North American sports league lost an entire season to a labor dispute.
1994 lockout: Lasted 104 days, 468 games missed. The season was shortened to 48 games (there was no All-Star game) and the revamped schedule included the regular season extending into May, the first and only time that’s happened in league history. Regular season games were limited to inter-conference play, meaning Eastern Conference teams did not play Western Conference teams.
1992 strike: Lasted 10 days, no games missed. The strike began with 30 games left in the regular season and all 30 were played.
- Burke wants the Flames to be — yep, you guessed it — more ‘truculent’ 30
- Flames fire GM Jay Feaster 35
- Video: Projected rise in salary cap could have some players ‘licking their lips’ 15
- Discuss: Blackhawks score big on Rivalry Night on NBCSN 36
- Crosby: If I had to guess Thornton’s suspension, I’d say 10 games 80
- Cowen gets two-game suspension for hit on Girgensons 12
- Rangers must consider Callahan’s injury history in contract talks 13
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Outrage over hockey violence, Gary Bettman is a happy man, Darryl Sutter is awesome, and more! 33
- Report: Isles coach Capuano not seen as problem 11
- Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Flyers challenge top-ranked Blackhawks 18
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (138)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)