NEW YORK — With little drama and no last-minute negotiations, the National Hockey League locked out its players late Saturday because of deep differences over terms for the new labor agreement the league contends it needs to achieve balance against rising salaries and business costs.
The NHL made no formal announcement after the 8:59 p.m. PDT expiration of the previous collective-bargaining agreement, which was forged at the cost of canceling the 2004-05 season. However, Commissioner Gary Bettman had said he would impose a lockout if the league and the NHL Players’ Association didn’t reach a new accord before then.
“We are sorry for where we are," Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said Saturday afternoon. “Not what we hoped or expected."
This is the third major professional sports lockout in 18 months. The NFL resolved a 41⁄2-month dispute in 2011 without losing regular-season games, but the NBA played a shortened schedule last season.