The lockout will keep fans from seeing the NHL product for days, weeks or months, perhaps a full season or more.
While that is an awful prospect, the relationship between the league and the NHL Players' Association is the worst labor relationship in all of sports.
Past labor disputes have been quite lengthy, with the last one costing the sport the 2004-05 season.
Both sides tend to dig in and hold their breath for as long as they can.
They want to make their point.
But at some point, the labor dispute will come to an end and the game will return.
However, not all players will be back.
The clock continues to tick and the aging process does not stop, not even for hockey players. Some of the oldest men in the NHL will have decisions to make. The best of the oldest players may find that the flesh may no longer be so willing when the dispute ends and they may have to give up the game.
Here's our take on 15 of the best "old men" in the NHL and if they will return when the lockout ends.