August 14, 2022

Timeline of Washington Capitals off-season and lockout progression

by Dave Nichols and Ted Starkey

The NHL and NHLPA tentatively agreed on a deal to end the lockout, allowing NHL players to return to their teams in preparation for a shortened 2013 season. With that in mind, we’ll take a look back in timeline form of the off-season news, including transactions that will affect the Washington Capitals on the ice. For, you know, when they actually return to it.

The Caps actually had a pretty significant off-season, what with naming a head coach and completely new coaching staff, trading a prized prospect for that ever-elusive top line center, and signing a reclamation project as a complementary scoring winger.

We’ll have a much more in-depth evaluation of the roster in the coming days, but for now, here’s the story of a much-too-long off-season for the Caps and the NHL.

May 12, 2012 – Capitals lose Game 7 of Eastern Conference Semifinal series 2-1 to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, ending the team’s season.

May 14, 2012 – At Washington’s breakdown day, Capitals coach Dale Hunter announces he won’t return to club.

June 22, 2012 – At the 2012 NHL Draft, Washington acquires center Mike Riberio from the Dallas Stars in exchange for Cody Eakin and the Capitals’ 54th overall selection.

June 26, 2012 – Washington announces the hiring of former Devils assistant coach and former Capitals forward Adam Oates as the team’s head coach.

June 29, 2012 – Bargaining between NHL, NHLPA begins.

July 2, 2012 – Washington signs former Maple Leafs forward Joey Crabb.

July 3, 2012 – Washington signs former Predators defenseman Jack HIllen.

July 5, 2012 – Washington re-signs center Mathieu Perreault and forward Jay Beagle.

July 11, 2012 – Washington signs former Florida forward Wojtek Wolski.

July 13, 2012 – NHL presents initial proposal that reduces players’ share of hockey-related revenue to a reported 43 percent.

July 16, 2012 – Washington re-signs defenseman Mike Green.

Aug. 14, 2012 – NHLPA makes first proposal.

Aug. 15, 2012 – NHL rejects NHLPA’s offer.

Aug. 28, 2012 – NHL offers players 46 percent of HHR.

Sept. 12, 2012 – NHLPA makes offer, which is immediately rejected by the NHL.

Sept. 13, 2012 – Owners meet in New York, and unanimously vote to lock out players when current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at 11:59 on Sept. 15, 2012.

Sept. 14, 2012 – Washington re-signs defenseman John Carlson.

Sept. 16, 2012 – With no deal in place, lockout begins at midnight.

Sept. 19, 2012 – NHL cancels preseason games through Sept. 30.

Sept 22, 2012 – NHL fines Red Wings senior vice president Jim Devellano for an interview with Island Sports News where players were equated to cattle.

Sept. 27, 2012 – NHL cancels remainder of preseason.

Oct. 4, 2012 – NHL cancels regular-season games through Oct. 24.

Oct. 16, 2012 – NHL offers 50-50 split on revenue and says it is willing to preserve 82-game schedule.

Oct. 17, 2012 – NHLPA rejects offer.

Oct. 18, 2012 – NHLPA offers three proposals, which NHL quickly rejects.

Oct. 19, 2012 – NHL cancels games through Nov. 1.

Oct. 26, 2012 – NHL cancels game through Nov. 30.

Nov. 2, 2012 – NHL cancels Winter Classic between Detroit and Toronto in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Nov. 21, 2012 – NHLPA makes proposal with 50-50 split and $392 million “make whole provision.” NHL rejects proposal.

Nov. 23, 2012 – 2013 NHL All-Star Game, scheduled for Jan. 27, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio, is cancelled.

Nov. 28, 2012 – Two sides meet with federal mediators, who say after two days sides are far apart.

Dec. 4, 2012 – Two sides meet without Gary Bettman and Don Fehr, sparking some progress in talks.

Dec. 5, 2012 – With progress, NHL Board of Governors meet briefly as progress seen being made.

Dec. 6, 2012 – Talks fall apart, leading to harsh words on both sides.

Dec. 10, 2012 – NHL cancels games through Dec. 30.

Dec. 13, 2013 – Two sides meet with mediator in suburban New Jersey, with no success.

Dec. 14, 2012 – NHL files class-action suit against players to establish legality of lockout.

Dec. 20, 2012 – NHL cancels games through Jan. 14.

Dec. 27, 2012 – NHL e-mails new proposal, sparking new round of discussions.

Dec. 31, 2012 – Two sides resume bargaining.

Jan. 4, 2013 – With progress made, federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh works to iron out difference between two sides.

Jan. 6, 2013 – After a 16-hour bargaining session at 4:45 a.m., the two sides reach a tentative agreement to end the lockout.

NHL announces cancellation of first two weeks of the 2012-13 season

In a short, plainly worded press release, the NHL announced today the cancellation of the ’12-’13 season through Oct. 24.

NEW YORK — The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through October 24.  A total of 82 regular-season games were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Oct. 24.

The cancellation was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr released the following statement upon cancellation of the first two weeks of the season by the league:

“The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners,” Fehr said in the news release. “If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue.  A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort.  For nearly 20 years, the owners have elected to lock-out the players in an effort to secure massive concessions.  Nevertheless, the players remain committed to playing hockey while the parties work to reach a deal that is fair for both sides. We hope we will soon have a willing negotiating partner.”

The news comes as no surprise, as dozens of the NHL’s best players, including the Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin Brooks Laich and Michal Neuvirth are playing overseas instead of participating in NHL training camps, not preparing for an upcoming NHL season but rather acting as gate attractions for the foreign leagues; keeping their legs strong with hopes that the lockout of NHL players in North America ends soon.

Unfortunately, according to those following the situation the closest, the sides still remain miles apart in negotiating a new CBA, jeopardizing not only the now-cancelled first two weeks of the season, but perhaps much, much more.

The Capitals took extraordinary measures to send their NHL coaching staff, including head coach Adam Oates, to AHL Hershey in order to learn the players in the system and “give them something to do,” during the lockout, according to GM George McPhee.

Statement from the Washington Capitals

Statement from the Washington Capitals

ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of all September pre-season games. Therefore, three Washington Capitals preseason games were canceled, including the Baltimore Hockey Classic scheduled for Sept. 26 at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. Per the Capitals’ and Ticketmaster’s refund policy, customers who purchased single-game tickets to events that are cancelled will receive a full refund.

Last year’s inaugural Baltimore Hockey Classic, against the Nashville Predators, was a tremendous success as the teams played in front of a sellout crowd of 11,082 fans who witnessed the first professional hockey game played in Baltimore since 1997. The Capitals organization was overwhelmed with the support from the city of Baltimore and our fans in Maryland, and we look forward to bringing this event back to the city in the near future.

Business as usual as NHL and players squander goodwill of fans

The NHL lockout, which began at midnight Sunday morning, is obviously about money. It’s about how billionaire owners mitigate operating expenses and share the revenues that are distributed to pay the salaries to millionaire players.

Of course, not all NHL players are millionaires. At least, they don’t all pull greater than $1 million per season. But even the lowest annual NHL salary is more than most folks can even imagine making. It’s hard to find a relevant place to start the discussion. [Read more…]

Guest Post: Open letter to Gary Bettman and the NHL by a fan of the game

by Melissa Allen, Caps fan and season ticket holder, special to District Sports Page

An Open Letter to  Gary Bettman and the NHL

A lockout doesn’t just mean locking out players from a paycheck. You’re locking out the fans. You’re locking out friendships. You’re locking out hopes and dreams. You’re locking out unfinished business.

You’re locking out new opportunities. You’re locking out charities. You’re locking out unforgettable moments. You’re locking out trust. You’re locking out history (which won’t be made). You’re locking out a game in which rivals are banding together to protect. You’re locking out the players because you don’t think the current collective bargaining agreement is fair. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals NHLPA rep Brooks Laich sounds off on potential work stoppage

“At the end of the day a lockout is what happens when adults get in the way of a kid’s game. If we miss one day it’s truly a shame.”  Brooks Laich on the potential NHL lockout

For the past week, the Washington Capitals players have been holding informal practice sessions at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, preparing as they normally would, getting ready for the upcoming season. Unfortunately, nothing is normal in the NHL these days as the league and its players prepare for a work stoppage with the expiration of the current CBA at midnight Saturday.

Brooks Laich talking with media about potential lockout after Captials practice at Kettler, September 14, 2012 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

[Read more…]

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