2004-2005 NHL lockout
Due to a prolonged lockout, the NHL became the first major professional sports league in the United States to cancel an entire season in 2004-05. It was the first time the Stanley Cup was not awarded since 1919. Prior to 2004-05, NHL teams spent about 76 percent of their gross revenues on players' salaries -- a figure far higher than those in the other major professional sports leagues. Many players joined teams in Europe while the sides went back and forth. In the end, player salaries were capped at 54 percent of league revenues. Maybe more so than with other work stoppages, the NHL's popularity took a hit from which it may not have recovered.