This Day In Sports History (February 16th) – NHL Lockout
It was on this day in 2005 that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman officially canceled the 2004-05 season. This would mark the first time that a major North American sport would cancel an entire season due to a labor dispute. It would also be the first year that the Stanley Cup was not awarded since 1919.
Upon their return to action, a number of rule changes were implemented in order to restore offense and make the game more exciting and fast-paced. The removal of the red line, the shootout to break ties and more obstruction penalties being called led to more offensive chances and more goals being scored. Offense was lacking in the “old NHL” but the new rules certainly helped create a more thrilling and up-tempo game.
All four major North American sports (NHL, MLB, NFL, NBA) have had their issues with labor disputes, but never to this extent. Within the past year we have seen both the NFL and the NBA go through labor disputes of their own, but in both cases the owners and the players were able to come to an agreement and avoid having their seasons cancelled.
Here is a clip of what we all missed that year.
Jerome Bettis, NFL – Born February 16th 1972 (age 40) in Detroit, Michigan
Aleksey Morozov, KHL – Born February 16th 1977 (age 35) in Moscow, Russia
Ahman Green, NFL – Born February 16th 1977 (age 35) in Omaha, Nebraska