It should be the start of the NHL hockey league 2004-2005 season but it’s not happening. The sports arenas across North America are quiet. There are no piercing sounds of whistles, no scraping sounds of hockey skate blades digging into the ice or pucks being slammed into the boards. The television crews normally setting up to televise the games are nowhere in sight. The NHL hockey players, coaches, and TV crews are off doing something else this season.
And there is no sign of NHL hockey coming back any time soon. The owners and the players are on opposite sides of the spectrum and there have been no talks since September 9, 2004. No further talks have been scheduled. The longer the impasse continues, the greater the blackout will carry on. Hence, in all probability, there will be no hockey season this year.
It’s for certain that no games will be played in October or November for that matter. As for December, even if the sides come to some agreement, December will most likely be used for training and the earliest a game can be played would be January.
What are the players doing? 200 of them (1/4) are currently in Europe playing hockey. Their contracts have out clauses which mean that if the NHL starts up again, they will return to North America to play here.