2004–05 NHL Lockout - Effects of The Lockout

Effects of The Lockout

A Canadian public opinion poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid near the start of the lockout found that 52 percent of those polled blamed NHL players for the lockout, whereas 21 percent blamed the owners of NHL teams.

Also hurting the NHLPA was the fact that its players had very visibly high salaries, which removed much sympathy from lower-to-middle class fans. It did not help that Jeremy Roenick and several NHLPA executives had made controversial statements which showed their apparent disdain for owners and fans alike.

Some of the owners, notably the big market teams, were criticized upon refusing to commit to lowering ticket prices if a salary cap was successfully implemented. While some argued that ticket prices were tied to demand, that is exactly what player salaries were dictated by in the past. Yet while the owners chose to create an artificial criteria for player salaries (the cap), they refused to break from the "market demand" system when it came to ticket prices, essentially saying that while the players were taking advantage of owners in an "emotional" business, the owners had no such problem taking advantage of fans. However, reduced ticket prices would result in an increase in demand that would significantly outstrip supply.

During the lockout, a movement arose to free the Stanley Cup from the NHL. By the original deed of Lord Stanley, the cup was a challenge cup open to the best amateur hockey team in Canada. Only since 1926 has it been exclusively competed for by NHL teams, and with the 2004–05 NHL season canceled, the group felt that the NHL had forfeited its right to award the Cup for the year. On February 7, 2006, a settlement was reached in which the trophy could be awarded to non-NHL teams should the league not operate for a season, although the NHL by that point was playing again.

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