Updated: Wednesday, 12 Sep 2012, 7:19 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 12 Sep 2012, 4:53 PM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Buffalo Sabres went to work Wednesday. Two-thirds of the team attended practice, preparing for the season that may never come.
Throughout the morning, talks of a lockout echoed throughout the arena. The current collective bargaining agreement expires on Saturday at midnight, giving the league and the players just three days to settle their disputes before an official lockout commences.
"The players are hopeful," Matt Ellis explained. "You can see that today we are down here getting our work in. We are still preparing as if we are going to have training camp."
Several Sabres players along with over 200 players around the league will be in New York this week to support the union. The major divide among the two sides include the salary cap as well as the sharing of hockey-related revenue. Wednesday, the players union presented a counter proposal and the league reacted with a responsive proposal.
"I know back in 2004 all the concessions came from the players," said Ellis. "We want to be playing hockey but at the same time we want to get a deal done that works for everyone.
The NHL lost an entire season in 2004-2005 as a result of a lockout. The players ultimately took a 24 percent pay cut to complete the previous CBA. Players are hopeful that a new deal will be filed soon but are prepared to hold their ground and endure another lockout that could be just days away.