NHL season canceled amid player pay cap dispute

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, today announced that the 2004/2005 season of the National Hockey League has been canceled. The announcement served only as official comfirmation of what was generally expected as wild speculation had raged during the past few days. The dispute centered around player pay caps, which where staunchly opposed by the players. The majority of NHL clubs have lost money over the last five years and as a result the clubs wanted to cap pay at a set amount. The club owners would not go above $42.5 million for any one club, whilst the players refused to go below $49 million. Speaking about the cancellation, Gary Bettman said "The shame of this is that our fans deserve better."

This will be the first year since 1919 that the Stanley Cup - the top prize in the NHL - will not be awarded. That year, a flu epidemic forced the finals to be called off.