The NHL will lock out its players after the current CBA expires at 11:59 p.m. ET on Saturday night. While the two sides had informal discussions throughout the day and over the past week, there were no formal negotiations in what would have been a last-ditch effort to avoid the league's third lockout since 1994.
On Saturday evening, NHLPA counsel Steve Fehr released a statement saying that the players attempted to re-start formal negotiations only to have the league turn them away.
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The statement from Fehr:
"Today we suggested that the parties meet in advance of the owners' self-imposed deadline of midnight tonight. Don Fehr, myself and several other players on the negotiating committee were in [New York] and prepared to meet. The NHL said it saw no purpose in having a formal meeting. There have been and continue to be private, informal discussions between representatives of both sides."
Not long after that, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly released a statement of his own (via NHL player agent Allan Walsh on Twitter).
"It looks like we are heading into a work stoppage that neither the league nor any NHL clubs wanted. We will continue to work hard to minimize the damage of this development, but ultimately the Players' Association and players need to take responsibility for future growth of the game and damage they are causing with the hardline position they are taking."
And with that, it's on. Unless you're new to the NHL, none of this should be surprising. And if you're not new to the NHL, the only question you have is how many games are they going to miss?