This was the first time in American history that labor issues caused a major sport to cancel its entire season. Mr. Boland says the lockout hurt the sport’s popularity in the United States, which had been growing with stars like Wayne Gretzky exciting interest, and Fox televising games nationally.
“I don’t think the sport has ever recovered from that, ” said Boland. “While the sport has made the revenue back, I would argue it’s a regional sport."
The lockout began after players and the NHL clashed over salaries, and the NHL canceled the season after both sides failed to come to an agreement.