CBA Talks Timeline

A chronological summary of what happened during the collective bargaining between the NHL and NHL Players' Association.


Jan. 12

The NHL Players' Association approves the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Later in the day the league and NHLPA signed the Memorandum of Understanding, officially ending the lockout.

Jan. 9

The NHL Board of Governors approves the new Collective Bargaining Agreement by a unanimous vote in New York.

Jan. 5-6

After 16 straight hours of talks with mediator Scot Beckenbaugh in attendance, the NHL and NHL Players' Association reach a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. The next stage is documentation and ratification of the deal, with the start date and number of games in the 2012-13 season still to be announced depending on how long the final process takes.

Jan. 4

Federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh went back and forth meeting with both the NHL and the NHL Players' Association separately in what the NHLPA described as "shuttle mediation". Both sides told Beckenbaugh they've got some room to move on unresolved issues but no formal meetings were held.

Jan. 3

The NHL and NHLPA hold smaller group talks over HRR and pensions, but do not formally meet for CBA talks. The NHLPA begins voting on giving the executive board the authority once again to file a disclaimer of interest. The NHLPA also files a motion in federal court in New York seeking to dismiss the league's suit to have the lockout declared legal.

Jan. 2

The NHL and NHLPA's labour talks remain on track with the NHL Players' Association electing to let their deadline to file a disclaimer of interest pass. While both sides appear committed to trying to hammer out a deal that would save a shortened season, gaps remain on issues such as the second year cap, player contract length and pensions.

Jan. 1

After reviewing the NHLPA counter-proposal of Dec. 31, the NHL makes another counter-offer back to the Players.

Dec. 31

The NHLPA presents a counter-proposal to the offer made by the NHL on December 27.

Dec. 30

The NHL and NHLPA hold information sessions regarding the latest Owners' offer. The NHLPA then meets internally, and it's decided that face-to-face talks will take place with the league on Monday, Dec. 31 in New York. It's the first time that the two sides will meet in person since Dec. 12-13.

Dec. 29

The NHL and NHLPA spend the day in conference calls and discussions while the Players' Association considers the Owners' offer of Dec. 27. There is no formal bargaining.

Dec. 27

The NHL makes a new CBA proposal to the NHLPA, adjusting maximum contract length from five to six years and boosting the variance from five to 10 per cent. The new offer also includes the 'Make Whole' provision that stays at $300 million and allows each team one compliance buyout prior to the 2013-14 season. The buyout would not count against the cap, but it would against the players' share.

Dec. 21

The NHL Players' Association's membership completes its voting, choosing to give the union the power to file a disclaimer of interest by Jan. 2.

Dec. 20

The National Hockey League announces the cancellation of the regular season schedule through Jan. 14. A total of 625 regular season games – 50.8 per cent of the season – were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Jan. 14.

Dec. 14

The NHL files a class-action complaint asking a federal court in New York to make a declaration on the legality of the lockout - a pre-emptive legal manoeuvre that came with the NHL Players' Association moving towards dissolving through disclaimer of interest.

Dec. 12-13

The NHL and the National Hockey League Players' Association meet with federal mediators over two days, but the meetings made no progress.

Dec. 10

The NHL cancels another 104 regular season games, bringing the total number wiped away by the lockout to 526. That represents nearly 43 per cent of the season. The entire schedule through Dec. 30 - plus the Jan. 1 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium and Jan. 27 all-star game in Columbus - is now off the books.

Dec. 6

The NHL rejects the players' most recent offer for a collective bargaining agreement, causing talks between the two sides to be suspended indefinitely. The two sides are unable to agree on three key issues - length of the new CBA, term limit on contracts and transition rules (an issue which has not yet been addressed).

Dec. 4-5

Six owners and 18 players meet late into the night after hours of negotiations for two straight days in New York City. The list of players includes Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews. Updates are provided to the media after negotations wrap on both days, including a joint scrum between NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr after the first day of talks.

Nov. 29

The NHL and NHL Players' Association make no progress after two days of meetings with U.S. federal mediators. No future talks with mediators are planned.

Nov. 26

U.S. federal mediators are now involved in labour talks between the NHL and NHL Players' Association, as the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service announce that the ongoing neogitations will be overseen by FMCS Deputy Director Scot L. Beckenbaugh, Director of Mediation Services John Sweeney and Commissioner Guy Serota.

Nov. 23

The National Hockey League cancels all games through Dec. 14, along with the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend festivities in Columbus. The move brings the total number of regular season games cancelled to 423.

Nov. 21

The NHL Players' Association tables a five-year proposal that includes a 50-50 split of revenues, receiving a percentage of revenue rather than a fixed amount and $393 million in deferred make whole payments throughout the agreement. The league rejects the offer, holding firm on $211 million and a 50-50 split.

Nov. 11

The NHL and NHLPA meet for just 90 minutes as they fail to get any traction on issues involving player contract terms. The NHL wants to limit contracts to five years, make rules to prohibit back-diving contracts the league feels circumvents the salary cap, keep players ineligible for unrestricted free agency until they are 28 or have eight years of professional service time, cut entry-level deals to two years, and make salary arbitration after five years.

Nov. 6-9

The NHL and NHL Players' Association emerge frustrated after hitting a road block during their fourth straight day together at the bargaining table. The league and union looked to be moving slowly towards a deal after trading proposals earlier in the week, but still ended up about US$380 million apart on economics. Both sides are trying to bridge is agreeing to a system where the players' overall share in revenue can be drastically reduced while ensuring all existing contracts are honoured. The league's most recent offer would see players receive $211 million guaranteed in deferred "make-whole" payments - not nearly enough to satisfy the union.

Nov. 3

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA general counsel Steve Fehr hold labour talks at an undisclosed location from Saturday afternoon through 1am et Saturday night, looking for common ground in an effort to get back to more formal bargaining between both sides. "We had a series of meetings yesterday (Saturday) and exchanged views on the most important issues separating us," said Daly. "We plan to meet again sometime early this week."

Nov. 2

The National Hockey League announces the cancellation of the 2013 Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs that would have been held Jan. 1 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Oct. 26

The National Hockey League announces the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular season schedule through Nov. 30. A total of 326 regular-season games - 26.5 percent of the season - from Oct. 11 through Nov. 30 are wiped out.

Oct. 25

The NHL withdraws its latest CBA proposal to the NHLPA after a deadline to play a full 82-game season passes with no new discussions between the two sides.

Oct. 19

The NHL cancels 2012-13 regular season games through Nov. 1. In all, 135 games are wiped out.

Oct. 18

The NHL Players' Association supplies three separate proposals to the National Hockey League in response to the NHL's Oct. 16 offer. The league, however, turns down all three proposals and the meeting breaks up after a little more than an hour.

Oct. 16

The NHL puts a new offer on the bargaining table for the NHLPA, which includes a 50/50 split of hockey-related revenue across the board and contingent on an 82-game season beginning Nov. 2. According to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, the offer calls for no salary rollback and the revised schedule - if implemented - would see every team play an extra game every five weeks.

Oct. 10

The Alberta Labour Relations Board decides that the NHL's lockout of players from the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames can continue. The board said in a written ruling that forcing an end to the lockout for two members of a 30-team league would be unlikely to solve the contract dispute between the league and the players' union. The NHLPA had wanted the board to rule the lockout illegal in Alberta.

Oct. 4

The NHL cancels the first two weeks of the 2012-13 regular season, which was scheduled to begin Oct. 11 with four games. In all, 82 games are wiped out through Oct. 24.

Oct. 2

After a two-hour meeting with the NHLPA regarding hockey related revenue in New York, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly says that no progress has been made. "Unless they show some willingness to compromise, I don't know how we get this done," he told reporters.

Sept. 30

Both sides wrap up three straight days of meetings, but without touching upon core economic issues. Items discussed include player health and safety, drug testing, and legal matters regarding player movement. Both sides did focus on clarifications of definitions of what makes up hockey-related revenue.

Sept. 29

Devils forward Krys Barch (@krysbarch) takes to Twitter, voicing his concerns over the lockout in a lengthy screed. Read the text here.

Sept. 27

The National Hockey League announces the cancellation of the remainder of the 2012 preseason schedule through October 8.

Sept. 19

The National Hockey League announces the cancellation of the 2012 preseason schedule through September 30.

Sept. 15

With no further meetings planned at the time and no significant progress, the CBA expires and the NHL locks out its players.

Sept. 14

The Quebec Labour Relations Board turns down an injunction request by 16 members of the Montreal Canadiens and the NHL Players' Association to declare a lockout illegal in Quebec. It also ruled that more hearings are needed to make a final decision on an application.

Sept. 13

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the owners voted unanimously to support a lockout, if necessary.

Sept. 12

The NHL files its latest proposal in the ongoing labour talks with the NHL Players' Association, giving the union until Saturday to accept before pulling it off the table. The proposal includes an increase to the 46 per cent of revenue players were offered in the league's last proposal. The players currently get 57 per cent of revenues.

Sept. 9

The NHLPA says it intends to challenge a lockout before labour boards in Quebec and Alberta, a move that if successful could force the league to pay players on the Canadiens, Flames and Oilers during a work stoppage. Labour law in Canada is provincial, not national and the NHLPA is not recognized as a certified union in Quebec.

Sept. 7

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, his top assistant and brother Steve Fehr, commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy Bill Daly hold a pair of informal negotiation sessions at the league offices.

Aug. 31

The NHLPA tries to engage the league on discussions about ways to make that Year 4 more workable for both sides. Talks later break down with no plans to hold more future talks.

Aug. 28

The NHL makes a counterproposal off the NHLPA's Aug. 13 proposal. Under the HRR parameters of the soon-to-expiring CBA, they scale the players' share of revenue from 57 percent in Year 4 to 46 percent.

Aug. 23

Both sides hold a full meeting in Toronto and the NHLPA delivers more details regarding its Aug. 13 proposal.

Aug. 22

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr meet on their own in Toronto.

Aug. 13 - 16

Four days of talks in Toronto. The NHLPA delivers its first proposal saying the players are willing to give up a portion of future revenue growth for a period of three years. The salary cap under their proposal would start at $69 million for the 2012-13 season and Year 4 of the proposed CBA would go back to 57 percent for the players.

Aug. 7 - 10

Talks held in New York. Meetings discuss player health and safety and CBA legal issues. A subcommittee session focuses on hockey-related issues, including supplementary discipline, training camp and ice conditions.

July 31 - Aug. 1

Both sides hold a full group committee negotiation session in New York followed by smaller group sessions. The league presents the final elements of their July 13 proposal.

July 24 - 26

Talks continue in Toronto with smaller group sessions on secondary issues. On Day 2 of these session, the NHL presents more aspects of its July 13 proposal.

July 18 - 20

Boths sides hold three days of talks in New York, discussion continues regarding the NHL's July 13 proposal as well as where the system should be headed.

July 13

The NHL makes its first proposal to the NHL Players' Association in Toronto. The NHL wants the players' share of hockey-related revenue (HRR) reduced from 57 percent to 43 percent and include new definitions for HRR.

July 10

CBA talks continue in Toronto. The Players' Association puts forth noneconomic issues such as training camp and player travel/road accomodation.

July 5 - 6

Negotiating teams from both sides meet in New York. On the first day, the union responds to the NHL's June 29 presentation with its own views. The next day, both sides talk about other issues such as player health, supplemental discipline and retirement benefits.

June 29

The NHL and NHL Players' Association meet for the first time to begin their talks on a new collective bargaining agreement. The league delivers a financial presentation and identifies issues it wants to discuss in the CBA.

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