NHL Lockout Begins, Season at Risk

9-16-04 - NEW YORK (AP) The National Hockey League owners have confirmed a lockout of players.

Contract talks between the two sides have proven fruitless so far and Wednesday's announcement puts the entire 2004-2005 season in jeopardy.

Commissioner Gary Bettman has already been given the authority to cancel the season. Owners have contributed 300 million dollars to a league work stoppage fund. The union has been retaining licensing money to help its members.

The two sides have not met since last Thursday and the current collective bargaining agreement ended at midnight eastern.