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The 1994–95 NHL lockout came after a year of NHL hockey that was played without a collective bargaining agreement. The lockout caused the 1994–95 season to be shortened to 48 games.


This 104 day lockout stretched from October 1, 1994 to January 11, 1995. A total of 468 games were lost due to the lockout, along with the All-Star Game. Much like the 2004–05 NHL lockout, the big issue was the implementation of a salary cap. The NHL owners were strongly in favor of the cap while the players were opposed to it.

The issues at hand[]

Going into the negotiations both the players and the owners agreed on one big issue, the small market franchises. The league wanted to tie salaries to revenue in order to subsidize the operation of weaker teams while the NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) sought revenue sharing to help the smaller market teams. However, large market teams such as Toronto, Detroit, the New York Rangers, Dallas, and Philadelphia eventually broke with the league, as they feared that an extended lockout would outweigh the benefits from getting a salary cap.

The 4-on-4 Challenge[]

While some NHL players decided to play in various European leagues others decided to remain in North America. Around that time was initiated by the NHLPA, the "4-on-4 Challenge" (i.e. four players and a goalie on the ice). This was an NHL-player tournament that the NHLPA organized during the owners' lockout of 1994-95. Team Ontario beat out Team USA, Team Western Canada and Team Quebec to win the tournament, which raised more than half a million dollars to support RMCC and minor hockey associations throughout North America. Many NHL superstars like Patrick Roy, Wayne Gretzky, Theoren Fleury and Mike Richter took part in this short tournament.

The end of the lockout[]

The lockout ended on January 11, 1995. This caused the league to shorten its season to 48 games from 84 the year before. During the lockout the NHL and NHLPA agreed to shorten the season to 82 games. San Jose, which was to host the All-Star game that year, was awarded the 1997 game instead. The lockout would eventually lead to two Canadian teams moving to the United States-the Quebec Nordiques moved to Denver in the summer of 1995 and became the Colorado Avalanche, and the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix and became the Phoenix Coyotes the following summer.

The salary cap for rookies was instituted, and all players signing rookie contract needed to sign two-way contracts.

See also[]

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