As expected, the Blackhawks postponed their annual training camp festival, which was scheduled for this Saturday, because of the lockout.
In a press release Sunday morning, the team said the “event will be rescheduled once the team’s training camp is determined, at which time, purchased tickets will be honored.” The Hawks announced in August that the festival was sold out.
The Hawks’ Mad Dash to Madison run also has been postponed. However, full refunds will be given.
With the lockout commencing at 11:01 p.m. Saturday when the collective bargaining agreement expired, training camps have been delayed across the league. Preseason games are expected to be cancelled by the league as soon as Sunday or Monday.
No formal negotiations between the NHL Players’ Association and the owners, represented by commissioner Gary Bettman, were held Saturday, and it’s uncertain when they will start up again.
During a lockout, players’ contact with teams is very limited. Essentially, there is none. They aren’t allowed to participate in promotional activities or other team functions.
The NHL issued the following message to fans when the CBA expired:
“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.”