NHL Lockout Begins, No Formal Talks Scheduled
Die-hard hockey fans might need to invest in some classic NHL games on DVD. It might be the only taste of hockey for months. There's no telling when the NHL lockout will end, especially when neither the league nor the NHLPA has committed to face-to-face negotiations to end the labor unrest. There were no formal talks Sunday on the first day of the lockout, the league's fourth shutdown since 1992, including a year-long dispute that forced the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season when the league successfully held out for a salary cap. And there are no formal talks planned. A prolonged lockout would be especially problematic for Columbus, which is scheduled to host the mid-season All-Star game in January. The league issued a statement to fans on its website that it was "committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the players and to the 30 NHL teams." The clock is ticking and there's no new collective bargaining agreement in sight. The league could start to announce this week the cancellation of preseason games and there's little chance training camps will open on time. The regular season is scheduled to begin Oct. 11, but that obviously is in peril. Day 1 of the lockout could serve as a preview for the next several cold months: Empty rinks, empty talk.