Work stoppages in U.S. sports history

NHL Players' Association executive director Donald Fehr reacts NHL Players' Association executive director Donald Fehr reacts to a journalist's question at a news conference following collective bargaining talks in Toronto. (Oct. 18, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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A summary of the work stoppages in major U.S. professional sports:

2012 NHL LOCKOUT

Time: Sept. 15, 2012 - present

Impact: 135 total games have been lost so far.

Issues: The owners want to cap the length of contracts for both rookies and veterans and get rid of salary arbitration. The players want a better split of the hockey revenue and for owners to cap their salaries and those of front-office personnel, thereby allocating more of the revenue for player salaries.

2011 NBA LOCKOUT

Time: July 1, 2011 – Dec. 18, 2011

Impact: The regular season was shortened from 82 to 66 games. 

Issues: The main issues between the two sides was the division of basketball-related income, luxury tax and the scale of rookie contracts.

2011 NFL LOCKOUT

Time: March 12, 2011 – July 25, 2011

Impact: No regular-season games lost. Only the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame preseason game between the Rams and Bears was canceled.

Issues: The main issue was how to share the $9 billion in revenue the NFL generates between owners and players. Owners wanted an 18-game season which means more revenue, but players wanted to be compensated for it. A rookie-wage scale, player safety, concussions and compensation for retired players were also up for discussion.

2004 NHL LOCKOUT

Time: Sept. 16, 2004- July 22, 2005

Impact: First sport in U.S. history to lose its entire season over a labor issue. First time since 1919 the Stanley Cup was not awarded to a team.

Issues: Salary cap was the key to the lockout. The players proposed $49 million per team; the owners wanted $42.5 million. Eventually, an agreement was reached and the cap was set at $39 million but would be adjusted each year to guarantee players 54 percent of total NHL revenues, and there would also be a salary floor. Revenue sharing, similar to MLB's luxury tax, was also implemented.

1998 NBA LOCKOUT

Time: July 1, 1998-Jan. 6, 1999

Impact: Only 50 of the 82 regular-season games were played. First time in NBA history that a work stoppage resulted in games not being played during the season.

Issues: Owners were interested in changing the salary-cap rules and putting a max on players' salaries. The players association sought to increase the salary for those making the league minimum. They reached an agreement with players' salaries reaching a max of $9 million and $14 million, depending on tenure. A rookie pay scale was introduced.

1994 MLB STRIKE

Time: Aug. 12, 1994-April 2, 1995

Impact: Postseason was canceled and only 144 regular-season games were played. First time since 1904 the World Series was not played.

Issues: Owners wanted to enact a salary cap and some form of revenue sharing for smaller-market teams. Replacement players were going to be used for the start of spring training in 1995. Some teams refused to use replacement players and canceled spring training altogether. The strike ended when future Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a preliminary injunction against the owners. No salary cap was ever agreed on but a revenue sharing system was implemented.

1994 NHL LOCKOUT

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Time: Oct. 1, 1994-Jan. 11, 1995

Impact: The season was shortened to 48 games.

Issues: The owners were in favor of a salary cap and a revenue sharing system to help smaller franchises. The players won but did set a salary cap for rookie players.

1992 NHL STRIKE

Time: April 1, 1992- April 10, 1992

Impact: The CBA expired prior to the 1991-1992 season.

Issues: The players wanted changes to free agency, playoff bonuses, pensions and how their likenesses were used for things such as trading cards and video games. The players won and received bonuses, and the season was also expanded to 84 games.

1990 MLB LOCKOUT

Time: Lasted 32 days.

Impact: No games lost. Most of spring training was not played.

Issues: Owners wanted to change the rules on arbitration and free agency. The owners were anxious to set up a pay-for-performance scale for players with less than six years of service. Most of all, the owners were still pushing a salary cap. Commissioner Fay Vincent stepped in and raised the league minimum salary.

1987 NFL STRIKE

Time: Sept. 22-Oct. 15

Impact: One week of games was canceled and replacement players were used for three weeks.

Issues: Because the games involving the "scabs" counted and were televised, many star players crossed the picket line and returned to the game. No new agreement is reached between the owners and the union. On Dec 30, the NFLPA asks federal judge David Doty to overturn the league’s rules restricting free agency.

1985 MLB STRIKE

Time: Aug. 6-Aug. 7

Impact: All 25 missed games were made up before the end of the season.

Issues: The sixth work stoppage in MLB history was also its least noteworthy. With salary arbitration one of the key issues, owners also agreed to contribute $33 million to the pension for each of the next three years and $39 million in 1989. The minimum salary for players also increased from $40,000 to $60,000.

1982 NFL STRIKE

Time: Sept. 21-Nov. 16

Impact: The season was shortened to only nine regular-season games and leads to a 16-team playoff tournament. 

Issues: The players' union was not happy with the amount of gross revenue that the players received. They agreed on a new five-year deal and severance package for retired players. Lost salary was returned to the players for the games that were missed during the strike thanks to the new CBA. 

1981 MLB STRIKE

Time: June 12-July 31

Impact: The All-Star Game was moved from its usual July date to August.

Issues: The owners were upset with the rules of free agency. Most importantly, the compensation the team would receive when losing a player via free agency. The strike ended when teams would be allowed to select an unprotected player from another club.

1980 MLB STRIKE

Time: March 1980

Impact: Lasted eight days, no games lost.

Issues: A four-year agreement was reached, but the issue of free agency could be reopened the next season for debate.

1976 MLB LOCKOUT

Time: Lasted 17 days.

Impact: No games lost but spring training is interrupted.

Issues: Free agency was once again the hot issue. In July 1976, a new four-year agreement is reached on the parameters of free agency. Players with six years of service are eligible for free agency but must wait five years before coming a free agent a second time. Players with two years of service are eligible for salary arbitration.

1973 MLB LOCKOUT

Time: Lasted 12 days.

Impact: No games lost.

Issues: A new three-year CBA is reached establishing parameters on player arbitration for players with two or more years of service.

1972 MLB STRIKE

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Time: April 1-April 13

Impact: Most teams lost 6-8 games off the schedule. First strike in U.S. pro sports.

Issues: Players wanted to increase the pension amount. The players did receive a $500,000 increase

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