On September 15, 2012, the NHL lockout began. A deal on a new (CBA) was reached on January 6, 2013, 119 days after the expiry of the previous CBA. It has been going on for the past 4 months now and it is having a big effect on die-hard hockey fans, including myself. During this lockout, most Boston Bruin players went to Europe to play hockey. Rich Peverley(49) went to Finland. Andrew Ference(21), Tuukka Rask(40), David Krejci(46) and Zdeno Chara(33) all went to the Czech Republic. Dennis Seidenberg(44) went to Germany. Patrice Bergeron(37) and Tyler Seguin(19) went to Switzerland and Bergeron even made a temporarily move there as well. Milan Lucic(17), Brad Marchand(63), Nathan Horton(18), however, did not go overseas and are struggling to get back into shape for the up coming season.
The owners of the league, led by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, declared a lockout of the members of the NHLPA after a new agreement could not be reached before the expiry of the NHL CBA on September 16, 2012. The lockout shortened the 2012-2013 season, originally scheduled to begin on October 11, 2012, from 82 to 48 games, a reduction of 41.5 percent. The revised season starts on January 19, 2013 and ends on April 27, 2013.
The owners reduced the players’ guaranteed 57% share of hockey-related revenues, introduce term limits on contracts, eliminated salary arbitration, and changed free agency rules. As the deadline approached, the union unsuccessfully reached the league’s ability to lock out players of three Canadian teams – the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames from Alberta and the Montreal Canadians from Quebec. Bettman has been here before and experienced lockouts in 1994-95 and 2004-05 which ended up in the cancellation of the season for the players. This was also the third labour dispute for NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr who, as head of the MLBPA, led his union through a lockout in 1990 and a strike in 1994-95. The Boston Bruins have already starting practicing with head coach, Claude Julien, and have been doing camps along the way. Their first scheduled game is against the New York Ranchers on January 19, 2013. Since being in Boston, I know the fans are going ballistic.