The Washington Times - September 18, 2012, 01:44PM

The NHL lockout went into effect Saturday night at midnight, but even before that the Washington Capitals spelled out their policy for season-ticket holders.

In a letter signed by owner Ted Leonsis and dated Sept. 13, the team said if the lockout began, it would suspend its payment plans and that fans’ accounts would not be charged until further notice.

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“Obviously we will not charge your account for any NHL game, preseason or regular season, that is not played,” the letter reads. “In appreciation of your continued support and loyalty we would like to provide you with a 1% APR interest on the funds you have on account related to games that are not played. In the days ahead you will receive additional information that goes into greater detail regarding the interest and refund policy.”

Other NHL teams are also offering interest rates on money they are keeping essentially in escrow until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached. The Minnesota Wild are offering 10 percent interest to season-ticket holders. The Anaheim Ducks and Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles Kings are offering 5 percent.

“I want to assure you that the NHL’s priority is to reach an agreement with the players,” Leonsis’ letter continues. “We all want to talk about exciting games, upcoming opponents and great plays, not the nuances of labor negotiation. We get it – and I empathize with you.”

According to multiple reports Tuesday, there were no formal talks between the league and NHL Players’ Association. Leonsis is one of the four owners on the league’s negotiating committee.