Photo - NHL.com
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - As the clock struck midnight on Saturday night, the inevitable became reality for the National Hockey League (NHL) and its players. Failing to come to an agreement before the deadline passed, the NHL has officially locked out its players.
The NHL is now under it's second work stoppage in the last 8 years and reports claiming that the two sides are still far apart lend to the belief that the league will not be up and running for a long while. As the last contract with the players expired last night, the NHL no longer has the rights to use players likenesses on their home page or any team page.
The loss of players rights also means that the popular Minnesota television show "Becoming Wild" was also ordered to cease it's broadcast.
Formerly littered with highlight videos, player bios and photo galleries, NHL.com is not a shell of it's former self with only a "Message From the NHL" featured on the homepage (pictured above).
Included in that message was this excerpt, "Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the Players and to the 30 NHL teams...We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans."
Following suit, the Minnesota Wild released their own message to the fans early Sunday morning. No franchise in the NHL is hurt more by the lockout than that Minnesota Wild who had a busy off season and had the 'State of Hockey' all wound up! Their message can be seen in its entirety below.
To Our Fans - A Message from the Minnesota Wild
After a very exciting summer, we have been overwhelmed by the tremendous support the State of Hockey has shown our organization. We are as anxious as our fans to see our new team take the ice!
We appreciate the continued support of our fans, business partners, community partners and employees as we work through the challenges caused by the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and potential delay in the start of this most promising season. At the same time, we support the League’s position and trust our NHL negotiating team is looking out for the long-term interests of the game. Even as NHL games may be missed, the Wild will continue to support the great sport of hockey at all levels through our grass roots partnerships with amateur hockey associations.
To our Season ticket holders: you will receive further information from us tomorrow morning regarding your account.
Our fans are the best in the NHL, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Xcel Energy Center.
Aj Mansour covers the Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions on this post or others in the designated comment box below. For Wild updates and breaking Wild news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjMansourKFAN