Before the sides ever came to an understanding regarding a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenues, the NHL first tried to cut the players’ share from 57 percent to 46 percent.
A series of talks in the first couple of weeks of September don’t bring the sides any closer, and the board of governors gave Bettman the authority to lock out the players at midnight on Sept. 15.
There was optimism about an end for the lockout when the sides held talks in New York on Dec. 5-6. The roller coaster took the participants and the fans on an up-and-down thrill ride that ended in major disappointment.
Fehr painted a picture that the sides were close to a deal, and Bettman chastised him for getting people’s hopes up. Negotiations broke off, and the NHL announced it was pulling all offers off the table.
It wasn’t until Beckenbaugh’s determined effort in the final two days of the prolonged negotiations that the sides finally found common ground.
“We were making progress continually and to make a deal you have to continue to make progress until it’s over,” Hainsey said. “That finally happened today.”
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