The NHL lockout during the 1994-95 season was the longest the league had ever seen. It lasted from Oct.1, 1994 to Jan. 11, 1994 in which 48 regular-season games were lost.
The season only spanned for 53 games which ment it was the shortest NHL season in more than half a century.
The issue leading to the lockout was all about the salary cap. Players opposed it with the management favoring it. The owners wanted a new collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA, and in the end they were willing to shut the game down if they went into the season without one.
Two years earlier, the NHL had gotten their new commissioner in Gary Bettman. And he was standing on the front line, wanting a best deal possible for the owners.
And it all started in the summer. In August, Bettman withdrew a number of player benefits that the owners claimed was an act to get negotiations going.
Even though nothing was agreed on, the players reported to training camps as usual with the exhibition schedule ready. With only days to go until the season opener, the owners were prepared to postpone the season after no progress was made in the negotiations.
Many players got upset. But no one was as heated as Chris Chelios, playing for the Chicago Blackhawks. In an interview broadcasted on television, Chelios was pretty much threatening Bettman and went berserk.
A week after the lockout ended, Chelios apologized to Bettman.
“My comments were inexcusable and I can’t express how sorry I am. I am glad that Commissioner Bettman has chosen to be lenient in my case and let me start the season with the Blackhawks on Friday night. ‘By saying what I did, I jeopardized my hockey career and the future of the Blackhawks. I want to assure everyone that this kind of conduct will never be repeated. What I did was wrong and, again, I apologize”, Chelios said.
Make sure to follow The Hockey Beast on Instagram!