Well, it’s official.
At 11:59 p.m. Saturday, the collective bargaining agreement expired and with no new one in place, the NHL imposed a lockout on its players. This marks hockey’s second lockout in eight years, its third work stoppage in the past 18 years.
From my story in Sunday’s dead-tree edition:
For weeks, Adam Oates watched film and studied the nuances of each Washington Capitals player. Under normal circumstances, he’d be on the ice this weekend diagramming practice drills for the organization’s rookies and kicking off training camp as a first-time NHL coach.
But Oates, like everyone else in the hockey world, is now stuck in an indefinite holding pattern. The NHL imposed a lockout at midnight Saturday following the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement. It is the league’s second work stoppage in eight years, the third in the past 18.
During the lockout, Oates and other team employees are forbidden from communicating with the players.
“I mean, I’m frustrated, because obviously I want to start coaching,” Oates said Friday. “But as I said the other day, it’s a part of life. The union issue is the same issue with everybody. So when it happens I’ll get my chance.”