The National Hockey League announced over the weekend that it would be locking out its players after the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL and the player’s union, the NHLPA, expired on Saturday, September 15 at 9 pm PDT. This will cause NHL Training Camps to not begin on time. The decision could ultimately delay the start of the NHL season. Below are answers to some questions we have been getting regarding the NHL Lockout and how it affects the San Francisco Bulls and the ECHL.
With the NHL Lockout now in place, will the SF Bulls and ECHL still begin their season on time?
Yes! The SF Bulls will begin Training Camp on time on September 29 and host their Home Opener on October 12.
Why is that?
The players with NHL contracts work under a different union, the NHLPA. The players with contracts in the ECHL, CHL and AHL are under the PHPA. They are separate unions and only members of the NHLPA are being locked out.
How does the NHL Lockout affect the SF Bulls?
As hockey fans, we never want to see the NHL get locked out. But the NHL Lockout could allow there to be even greater talent in the ECHL. Players on two-way NHL/AHL contracts that were expected to play in the NHL this season can still play in the AHL. More NHL prospects sent to the AHL, subsequently causes there to be more prospects sent to the ECHL. During the last NHL Lockout, in 2004-05, NHL All-Star Scott Gomez elected to skate in the ECHL in his home state of Alaska with the Alaska Aces.
When will the NHL Lockout End?
Even the commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman, doesn’t know when it will end. In 1994-95, the NHL and the NHLPA came to an agreement to save half of the season. In 2004-05, the whole NHL season was lost. But as stated earlier, the SF Bulls are playing hockey and we’re excited to get things going on October 12.
If you have anymore questions regarding the NHL Lockout, please e-mail the SF Bulls Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting Jason Lockhart at JasonL@sfbulls.com.