AMHERST, N.Y. -- The NHL locked out its players at midnight Saturday, becoming the third major sports league to impose a work stoppage in the last 18 months.
The action also marks the fourth shutdown for the NHL since 1992, including a year-long dispute that forced the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season when the league held out for a salary cap.
The deal which ended that dispute expired at midnight, and Commissioner Gary Bettman followed through on his pledge to lock out the players with no new agreement in place.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the lockout was effective at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
The sides were so far apart in their discussions that they didn't meet face-to-face for negotiations on Saturday.
The Sabres season opener is supposed to be on October 13th, but that now looks doubtful.
Right now, the two sides are far apart and the issue is the same one that cost the league the 2004 - 2005 season.
Here's the issue.
The owners want the players to accept a cut in league revenue.
The players currently receive 57%. The owners' last offer had the players getting 49 percent.
Several Buffalo Sabres' took to the ice Friday morning at the Northtown Center in Amherst to practice. They plan on being prepared if and when the season does begin.
Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller is getting attention for his comments concerning NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman.
"Gary has basically run this business for 20 years, so if he's operated at a loss for how many of those years," said Miller at the NHLPA meeting in New York City on Thursday. "How is he still in a position of leadership, or even have a job?"