Read: How The Salary Cap Difference Shut Down The 2004-05 Season/How The Last Few Days Went Down

In the National Post, Bruce Arthur writes of how the NHL’s proposal of a “take it or leave it” salary cap of $42.5 million and the NHLPA counter of $49 million led to the cancellation of the 2004-05 season.

According to an ESPN.com timeline from 2005:

  • The two sides meet informally on February 2, 2005 and the NHL proposal of a salary cap is rejected.
  • They meet for nine hours on 2/3/05 and don’t comment on how the day went
  • They meet for four hours on 2/4/05 and the NHLPA says no progress was made while the NHL says that the talks were “constructive.”
  • They have a secret meeting on 2/9/05 where the NHLPA rejects an NHL proposal. The NHL tells them that a deal needs to be in place by the weekend or games will be cancelled.
  • The two sides meet with mediators on 2/10/05 for four hours and 2/13/05 and no progress is made
  • On 2/14/05, the NHLPA agrees to a salary cap in a private meeting in Niagara Falls. The NHL offers $40 million and the players counter with $52 million
  • On 2/15/05, Gary Bettman issues a “final” offer that he says is non-negotiable and sets a deadline for 11AM the next day. The players counter with a proposal of $49 million for the salary cap.
  • On 2/16/05, Bettman cancels the season.