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What Buffalo Sabres Fans Need to Know Entering NHL Lockout

September 17th, 2012 at 9:00 AM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

With the NHL lockout now more than 24 hours old, here is a primer for Buffalo Sabres entering the league's fourth work stoppage – yes, fourth, since 1992.


The league made this statement Sunday about the lockout:

"Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the players and to the 30 NHL teams.

"Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA, competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular season in pro sports; a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year; fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best, and the League has generated remarkable growth and momentum. While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change in the League's economic system, and produced corresponding on-ice benefits, our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division of revenues with the players – as well as other necessary adjustments consistent with the objectives of the economic system we developed jointly with the NHL Players' Association seven years ago. Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation – not through rhetoric.

"This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room. The league, the clubs and the players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans."


The Sabres said Sunday, should any games be canceled, ticket holders will have several options.

  • SEASON TICKETS: Season ticket holders can leave their payments with the Sabres and collect 4 percent interest on their funds. Money that actually changed hands will go toward future tickets, while accumulated interest will go on a SabreBucks gift card. The other option would be to request a refund, which would be given on the first of every month for games that were canceled the previous month (i.e., receive money Nov. 1 for all games canceled in October).
  • MINI-PACKS: Same options as season ticket holders.
  • INDIVIDUAL TICKETS: Refunds issued on the first of every month for games the previous month.

Ticket holders who demanded a full refund would lose their rights to those seats, the team said. Ticketholders will receive special offers to be announced for Rochester Americans games.


During the lockout, players are subject to these rules:

  • They can't use team facilities.
  • They do not get paid, unless they were injured during league play last season and are still deemed injured by team doctors. They also collect signing bonuses.
  • They can play in any other league unless their NHL team had the ability to assign them to the AHL or juniors. If they get hurt in an overseas league, they can be suspended without play once the NHL resumes.
  • They can't be traded.
  • They can't be forced to make promotional appearances.

The league previously locked out in 1992 (no games missed), 1994 (468 games missed) and 2004-05 (entire season missed).

As things stand now, the owners last pitched a six-year deal with players getting 49 percent of league revenue at the start and 47 percent at the end. The players last proposed a five-year deal starting at 54.3 percent and decreasing to 52.3 percent.

Evgeni Maklin and Sergei Gonchar have already signed elsewhere, both with Mettalurg of the KHL in Russia.

No formal talks are planned between the NHL and its players association.

Here is a message from the NHLPA:

Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL

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