With no end in sight and no formal talks scheduled, many are concerned that NHL owners and players will do battle through another lengthy stalemate.
Here are key dates to keep in mind that could affect some, or most, of the events listed below:
- Sept. 21: Training camp is due to open, although the prospect looks bleak.
- Sept. 23: The first exhibition game is to be played between Ottawa and Montreal.
- Oct. 11: Four games highlight the beginning of the regular season. CBC's Hockey Night in Canada kicks off its 60th season that night with a doubleheader – Ottawa-Montreal and Vancouver-Calgary.
- Oct. 15: NHL players will receive their escrow cheques from last season.
- Nov. 23: NBC begins its hockey coverage with a Thanksgiving matchup between Boston and N.Y. Rangers
- Early December: HBO Sports' 24/7: Road To The Winter Classic returns for a third season, featuring 2013 participants Toronto and Detroit.
- Jan. 1/2013: The traditional Winter Classic pits the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Detroit Red Wings and the University of Michigan.
- Mid January: On Jan. 11, 1995 the NHL and its players ended a three-month lockout to play a shortened 48-game regular season, plus a full slate of Stanley Cup playoff contests.
- Mid February: This could be a notable time for a dubious reason. It was back in Feb. 16, 2005 that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman officially announced the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season when players and owners couldn’t reach a deal on the last collective bargaining agreement.