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NHL cancels 2004-05 hockey season
The National Hockey League (NHL) cancelled its season today after being unable to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with its players. Gary Bettman made the official announcement this afternoon in New York. Bettman said, "As I stand before you today it is my sad duty to announce that because the solution has not yet been attained it is no longer practical to conduct even an abbreviated season. I have no choice but to announce the formal cancellation of play for 2004-2005." The league now has the "distinction" of becaming the first North American professional sports league to lose an entire season due to a labour dispute.
There will be a lot of time to analyze this mess but one thing is clear, hockey fans get the shaft.
Outlook Grim for NHL season
After their last ditch effort to get something worked out last week, both sides seem convinced that the end is near. Atleast that is what we are hearing and unless there is are some ultra-secretive talks taking place. Last week's talks saw the NHL propose a deal that combined their last proposal with the player's December 9th offer - all be with a few caveats. The NHLPA rejected this outright and did not table a counter-proposal. Many reports indicate that this meeting in Toronto was one of the least productive, with NHL chief legal counsel Bill Daley describing it as "pointless
". For its part the player's association weren't too pleased with the offer, especially the trigger points that would introduce hard salary caps.