Had the NHL or NHLPA decided to reopen the CBA, the agreement would have expired on September 15, 2020. The 10-year agreement, ratified in January 2013, expires on September 15, 2022. The cultural impact of the 2018 Olympic hockey tournament was related to that of a mosquito flying in the hull of an aircraft carrier. That is, the IOC quickly realized that it needed the NHL to move the needle on Olympic hockey. Now that the Olympic Games have been negotiated collectively and the hype begins, the IOC has no choice but to make some of the promotional and marketing concessions that the League has been kind enough to ask for in the past. On the expiry date of the old agreement, the NHL Board of Governors, representing The Owner, entered and unanimously decided that the 2004-05 NHL season would be delayed until a new collective bargaining agreement was in effect. The player owners` lockout began at 12:01 a.m. on September 16, 2004, the day most NHL training camps would have opened if the NHL and NHL reached an agreement. In November 2004, it emerged that the entire 2004/2005 season was in jeopardy and that “last gaps” would have been deployed to avoid this, but little or no progress had been made in the final months of 2004.
The general consensus of many sports writers and other competent observers was that if the 2004/2005 season were cancelled, the owners would attempt to open training camps in September 2005 for the 2005/2006 NHL season with “replacements” who are not members of the NHLPA or would be willing to terminate their affiliations. On February 13, 2005, the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service convened a meeting between the two parties to negotiate a new agreement. Three days later, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman officially canceled the season. There was some hope that a season could have been saved, as hockey legends Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, both now co-owners of NHL teams, gathered the owners and players to talk on February 19. However, the two sides have not reached an agreement. The NHL and the NHL Players Association are still hoping to start the 2020-21 season on January 1, but discussions between the two sides hit a major snag this week as a player felt “blind” when the owners asked to change the terms of their new collective bargaining agreement, just four months after it was agreed to a representative of a player. “While players have concerns with the current CBA, we agree with the league that working together to allay those fears is the preferred procedure rather than ending the deal after this season,” said Don Fehr, NHLPA general manager.