SUN Hockey Pool

Day by day

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

While this lockout is poised to kill the season, barring last-minute talks, the 1994-95 conflict was resolved at the last minute after a series of last-ditch negotitions. Here's a recap:

Dec. 1, 1994 -- The two sides meet in Chicago. The players make a "final" counter-proposal to deal with free agency, salary arbitration and the owners' contentious payroll tax/salary cap.

Dec. 5 -- The owners up the tax, enraging the players, who threaten to stage Canada Cup-type tournaments and all-star games as an alternative to the NHL. Talks soon collapse.

Dec. 8 -- Bob Goodenow and Gary Bettman talk on the phone to try and re-start talks. A mid-December deadline for a 50-game schedule is floated.

Dec. 12 -- The NHL board of governors meets to maintain shaky unity.

Dec. 15 -- Accountants and lawyers on both sides stage low-level talks to "crunch numbers."

Dec. 18 -- Top union lawyers, league counsel and Leafs president Cliff Fletcher, considered an acceptable neutral party, begin three days of attempts to re-start talks. A Christmas deadline looms.

Dec. 21 -- A full union rally is held in Toronto.

Dec. 27 -- More low-level talks, optimism for a deal begins .

Dec. 28-29 -- Bettman faxes union, extending deadline.to Jan. 16.

Jan. 6-7, 1995 -- Board of Governors meeting pits hardliners against doves. Payroll tax is scrapped, in favour of seeking new concessions.

Jan. 9 -- A 14-hour bargaining session, including one-on-one talks with the leaders, is held. A deadline at noon the next day is established.

Jan. 10-11 -- A deal is reached after 103 days. The cap is dropped, except for entry-level players, but players give on free agency and salary arbitration. A 48-game schedule is salvaged.

"Both sides aren't too happy, but both sides can go forward," Bettman said.


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