The events as they unfolded in brief...
Oct. 1, 2003
National Hockey League owners and players gather in Toronto in the latest of a series of ongoing meetings aimed at trying to reach labour peace.
Feb. 12, 2004
Former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Arthur Levitt releases a league-commissioned report that states combined NHL losses at $273 million US. The NHLPA questions the report's numbers.
May 19, 2004
The NHL reaches a revenue-sharing TV deal with NBC, with the league receiving no money up front. It is a stark contrast to the $600 million deal the NHL signed with ABC six years earlier.
Jun. 11, 2004
The NHL Players' Association holds its first meeting of the offseason and reaffirms its stance against a salary cap.
July 25, 2004
Talks resumed on the labour front between the NHL and NHLPA but little progress was made despite a set of six new league proposals.
August 17, 2004
The NHL and NHL Player's Association held their longest meeting yet but remained as far apart as ever on a solution after a 5½-hour meeting in Newark, N.J.
August 26, 2004
After a five-hour session, the NHL lashes out at the NHL Player's Association, accusing the union of wasting the league's time and not wanting to find a solution before the impending lockout.
Sept. 1, 2004
The NHL and NHL Players' Association end 19 hours of talks over three days, seemingly as far apart as ever in their labour impasse.
Sept. 9, 2004
The NHL Players' Association delivers its first proposal to the NHL since October of 2003 and the league turns it down. The offer features a luxury tax to begin at $50 million US. Talks break off, with all signs pointing to a league-wide lockout.
Sept. 15, 2004
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announces the league's 30 teams will lock out players at midnight, when the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires.
Oct. 19, 2004
The NHL advises teams that home games may be cancelled so buildings can book dates for other events on a 45-day rolling basis. It is two weeks longer from the previous allowance of 30 days.
Nov. 2, 2004
The NHLPA holds a meeting in Toronto with 70-80 players and 30 team representatives to update players and answer questions. Some players who previously offered views differing from the NHLPA's stance say they came out with a better sense of what they were doing and better solidarity.
Nov. 3, 2004
With hopes of a full season diminished, the National Hockey League cancels the 2005 All-Star Game in Atlanta.
Nov. 17, 2004
The NHL Players' Association holds a meeting in Chicago to update with player agents and answer questions.
Nov. 18, 2004
The Sidney Crosby sweepstakes may have to be put on hold, as NHL Central Scouting confirms that the 2005 Entry Draft - to be held in Ottawa - will not be held until a new CBA is in place.
Nov. 24, 2004
The NHL Players' Association announces that it will pay out between $29 million and $44 million US in lockout pay for more than 730 players.
Dec. 2, 2004
The NHL accepts the NHLPA's invitation to meet in Toronto the week of Dec. 6 - the first formal bargaining session since Sept. 9.
Dec. 9, 2004
The NHLPA presents the NHL with a new proposal that includes a 24 percent rollback on current contracts. The NHL announces it will submit a counter proposal on Dec. 14.
Dec. 14, 2004
The NHLPA rejects the NHL's counter-proposal, which includes a weighted salary rollback and a salary cap.
Dec. 22, 2004
The league confirms that a board of governors' meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 14 in New York. No details are revealed, though many speculated the setting of a drop-dead date or the cancellation of the season.
Jan. 6, 2005
The NHL cancels its board of governors meeting scheduled for Jan. 14 in New York due to a lack of progress in negotiations.
Jan. 17, 2005
The NHLPA and NHL announce that labour talks will resume at an undisclosed location on Jan. 19...without commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow.
Jan. 19, 2005
NHL talks end after nearly five hours at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, with the promise to meet again in Toronto the following day.
Jan. 20, 2005
NHL talks end after 4 1/2 hours in Toronto, concluding, 'two good days of communication' and 'good dialogue.' There are no immediate plans to meet again.
Jan. 24-25, 2005
The NHL invites the NHLPA to participate in another round of talks involving the same 'small group' from the week before. NHL Executive VP Bill Daly adds that the league will not put forth a new proposal, but will offer up new ideas.
Jan. 26, 2005
Without any meddling outside from the media, the NHL and NHL Players' Association wrap up their bargaining session with the promise of another 'undisclosed' get-together. New Jersey Devils GM and CEO Lou Lamoriello is included in the talks.
Jan. 27, 2005
Labour talks wrap up in New York after four hours with no further meetings planned. The NHL sends a framework for a proposal that reportedly includes a team-by-team salary cap between $32-$42 million with no luxury tax. Also, team payrolls would be linked to revenues at a rate of 54%. The NHLPA does not look favourably on it.
Feb. 2, 2005
Talks between the NHL and NHLPA ended in Newark, New Jersey with the NHLPA rejecting the league's latest proposal. It included a revised salary arbitration system, a maintenance of guaranteed player contracts and an individual team payroll range between $32 and $42-million. Feb. 3, 2005
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA senior director Bob Goodenow are invited back to the table for talks, which last nine hours in a New York hotel. Under yet another shroud of secrecy, the sides agree to meet the following day.
Feb. 4, 2005
Sudden-death NHL labour talks end after four hours. NHLPA Executive Director Bob Goodenow said afterwards that no progress was made in the past two days and the Players' Association was on its way back to Toronto. Though the lines of communication remain open, no future talks are scheduled.
Feb. 9, 2005
The NHLPA rejects another league proposal at a secret meeting, while NHL commissioner Gary Bettman sets a weekend deadline for cancelling the season if no deal is reached. Talks are planned to take place the next day.
Feb. 10, 2005
Talks between the NHL and NHLPA break off after three hours and no progress is made. Bill Daly, the NHL's executive vice-president and chief legal officer, all but pronounced the season to be lost.
Feb. 11, 2005
Though there is no communication between both sides, the NHL sends out a memo to its 30 teams on Friday releasing the gag order on owners, GMs and team executives. They are now allowed to talk about the lockout to the media and reach out to players if they wanted.
Feb. 13, 2005
The NHL and NHL Players' Association secretly met for more than five hours with U.S. federal mediators in Washington but still could not make any progress.
Feb. 14, 2005
The NHL announces a news conference for Feb. 16 where commissioner Gary Bettman is expected to cancel the regular season and playoffs. Bill Daly and Ted Saskin met for several hours in Niagara Falls, Ontario in a last-ditch attempt to save the season. The NHLPA offered a deal that included a $52 million US salary cap. But the deal was rejected by the NHL, who want a $40 million cap.
Feb. 15, 2005
The NHL delivered a take-it-or-leave-it offer to the Players' Association, upping its salary cap offer to $42.5 million US and imposing an 11am et deadline Feb. 16. The NHLPA counters with a $49 million US cap, which is quickly rejected. The NHLPA responds by saying, 'You will receive nothing further from us.'
Feb. 16, 2005
The flickering light representing hope for an NHL season was formally extinguished, as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman officially announced the cancellation of the 2004-05 season.