When speaking about current CBA negotiations and the possibility of a lockout, many harken back to the work stoppage of 2004…and how nobody wants to see another lost season.
Former Caps goalie — and now associate goalie coach — Olaf Kolzig can speak to that, having played through the work stoppage (with a brief spell in Berlin.)
In speaking with the Washington Times, he referred to the 2004 lockout as “awful” and an “ugly situation.”
Because of that, he’s optimistic things will be better in 2012.
“They’re going to try their hardest to get it done, and if for whatever reason it doesn’t get done by Sept. 15, I would assume it would get done in a short amount of time,” he said. “I don’t think you’re going to see what happened in 2004.
“I think it won’t be as biased an outlook as it was maybe back in 2004. I think both sides really are going to try to hammer something out.”
Kolzig said the lost season was frustrating financially — “it’s money I’ll never make back,” he said — and difficult for a lot of older players who essentially saw it terminate their careers. The likes of Mark Messier, Ron Francis and Adam Oates never returned to play.
Those lessons could play a key role in this year’s situation, as the NHLPA’s 31-player Negotiating Committee is laden with players that experienced the 2004 work stoppage.
It’s something Kolzig hopes will aid in the process.
“I think so, especially communicating with the younger guys that maybe haven’t gone through this process and letting them know because it is ultimately the players’ vote on what they agree to and what they won’t agree to.”