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Upcoming NHL season may be postponed as contract negotiations continue

August 14, 2012

Most hockey fans are familiar with season-long lockouts in the National Hockey League (NHL) that took place during the 1994-95 and 2004-05 seasons, and it looks like the organization may be facing a similar situation this year. The NHL Players' Association has been negotiating new deals with the NHL to improve conditions for the athletes, and the opposing sides are far from agreeing.

The Winnipeg Free Press reports the players' completely rejected the NHL's initial offer. Instead of attempting to negotiate specific details, union officials are planning to offer their own changes. They are calling for expanded revenue sharing and more salary flexibility, while the NHL's offer included reducing revenue sharing options and restricting player contracts.

According to CBC News, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman plans to lock the players out from playing this season if an agreement is not reached by September 15. Since both sides stand opposed, hockey fans may be forced to endure another season off the ice while the athletes and the league officials argue over contracts.

When this same situation occurred before the 2004-05 season, not one game was played that year, leaving players and fans disappointed. It likely cost the league a good chunk of change as well, as there was no revenue to be made for an entire season. There's always the possibility that the season could be shortened and started late, as is what happened during the NBA lockout last year.

Hockey fans who want to discuss the situation with their friends can make calls to Canada with international phone cards. Whether they're Maple Leaf fans or they root for the Canucks, there's certainly a lot to talk about.

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