SUN Hockey Pool

The issues

Bruce Garrioch -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

- WHAT: The collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHL Players Association expired today at 12:01 a.m. League commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed the players are locked out and the start of training camps for the 30 teams has been delayed. - THE PROBLEM: The owners want a salary cap of $31 million (all terms US) because they claim they've lost billions of dollars -- including $224 million collectively last season. The players will not accept a salary cap.

- THE OFFERS: In late July, the league made a six-point proposal which the union rejected immediately. While the union claimed five of the proposals were salary caps, league VP Bill Daly has said that's not the case. The offers included an agreement where the NHL head office would negotiate all contacts; the slotting of contracts with everybody at fixed rates depending on their role on the team; and player bonuses for going further in the playoffs. Most of the proposals were based heavily on performance. In a proposal last week, the union offered an across-the-board 5% pay cut on all existing contracts, which would have saved the league $100 million over the next few years; a change to the rookie salary cap which would have generated $60 million in savings; a luxury tax with different revenues for each team and revenue sharing. The owners rejected the proposal immediately.

- WHAT'S NEXT: The season is scheduled to open Oct. 13 with seven games. Since that looks doubtful, some players will begin suiting up in Europe as early as Friday night. while others will play in the newly formed Original Stars Hockey League -- which will have a 4-on-4 format and play games across North America.


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