There have not been any official meetings planned in the near future, so don't be surprised to see the rest of the preseason schedule cancelled sometime down the road. Imagine that, we could have been watching hockey as early as next week.
Also according to NHL.com, the Kraft Hockeyville preseason match scheduled for Oct. 3 in Belleville, Ontario has been postponed for 2013.
Under Gary Bettman's tenure as commissioner of the NHL, this is the third work stoppage. The NHL is the only North American league to ever miss an entire season due to a labor dispute, back in 2005.
As expected, on Saturday at 9 a.m., the NHL owners officially locked out the players when the two sides could not agree on a new collective bargaining agreement. The NHL now enters its fourth work stoppage in the last 20 years and with players and owners trying to figure out their next moves, the NHL Players Association has released a video message appealing to the fans during the lockout.
In the 3:31 long video, St. Louis' David Backes, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, Chicago's Jonathan Toews, Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog and Toronto's James Reimer speak about their love for the game and the impact of the lockout. With no clear end in sight, the NHLPA is reaching out to fans, trying to share the players' side of a huge dispute.
"I think that as players, we understand that the people who suffer the most are the fans," Crosby says.
Kovalchuk has spent the past two and a half seasons with the Devils after plying the first seven and a half seasons of his career with the Atlanta Thrashers. He's averaged just over a point per game in his NHL career, with 409 goals and 379 assists in 779 games. Kovalchuk had 37 goals and 46 assists in 77 games for New Jersey last season.
The NHL's Board of Governors met today in New York, and according to commissioner Gary Bettman they were unanimous in their decision to lock out the players if there is not a new agreement in place by 11:59 p.m. ET on Saturday. The NHL and NHLPA have been in negotiations on both Wednesday and Thursday, but no agreement has yet been reached.
According to Bettman, the NHL have been working hard in an attempt to meet the players in the middle, but the NHLPA have been responding with virtually the same proposal every time. The percentage of the revenue that will be going to the players appears to be the major hurdle at this time, with Bettman pointing out the fact that both the NFL and NBA's players have taken recent cuts to their shares of the respective revenues of those leagues.
Bettman also implied that the players seem to be the ones driving a potential lockout, and pointed out that he believes such a move will cost the players more in lost checks than they'd be giving up under the league's current proposal.
The main point in contention is player salaries. The NHL and its owners believe that the salaries need to drop in order to keep the league profitable. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stated just that earlier this month:
On Aug. 9, after a negotiation session in New York, the commissioner said, "The fundamental proposal - our initial proposal - relates to the fact that we need to be paying out less in player costs.
This will obviously be a tough point on which to compromise as hockey players, or anyone really, do not want to be paid less while doing the same job. With the season so close, it would appear that the two sides will have to cover a lot of ground to avoid missing some of the schedule. The two sides meet again on Tuesday