A tentative deal to end the NHL’s fourth work stoppage over the last two decades was reached between the league and NHL Players’ Association on Sunday morning. Here’s a look back at all the NHL’s labour disputes:
Started: April 1, 1992.
Ended: April 10, 1992.
Games Lost: None.
Key Issues: The players called the first strike in NHL history late in a season that was played without a collective bargaining agreement. The sides had been fighting over a number of issues ranging from free agency to the split of playoff revenue. The strike ended with a two-year deal, retroactive to the beginning of the 1991-92 season, which saw players receive $11 million from the sale of trading cards, increased playoff bonuses and the creation of an 84-game regular season.
Started: Oct. 1, 1994.
Ended: Jan. 11, 1995.
Games Lost: 468.
Key Issues: Not only did new commissioner Gary Bettman want to implement a salary cap, he didn’t want to continue negotiating through the season for fear of another strike. The lockout came into effect after teams had already held training camps. A deal was eventually reached when the league backed off its demand for a salary cap, settling instead for a limit on rookie deals and unrestricted free agency pushed back to age 31.
Started: Sept. 16, 2004.
Ended: July 22, 2005.
Games Lost: 1,230, plus the entire playoffs.
Key Issues: The salary cap was back at the centre of another labour dispute. This time the owners vowed they were more committed to the fight and proved it by cancelling the entire season. The union eventually agreed to a salary cap tied to revenues, plus a 24 per cent salary rollback across the board, after the Stanley Cup failed to be awarded for the first time since 1919. The CBA was widely viewed as a major loss for the union.
Started: Sept. 15, 2012.
Ended: Jan. 6, 2012 (pending ratification of tentative agreement).
Games Lost: TBD.
Key Issues: After seven years of record revenues, the NHL sought to reduce the amount paid to players while tightening rules to ensure cap-circumventing contracts were eliminated. The union was in no mood for givebacks after being walked over during negotiations in 2004-05 and kept up the fight until it got close to the brink. With the help of federal mediator Scot L. Beckenbaugh, the sides hammered out a tentative deal with a final 16-hour negotiating season that resulted in a 50-50 split of revenues, contract limits of seven years for free agents and a maximum yearly salary variance of 35 per cent. In exchange, the players got a defined benefit pension plan and increased revenue sharing.