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Sabres react to NHL lockout

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Buffalo Sabres hockey

The National Hockey League is engaged in yet another work stoppage as owners opted to lockout its players at midnight Saturday after a new Collective Bargaining Agreement could not be reached.

The  Buffao Sabres prepared for life after the lockout by signing restricted free agent Tyler Ennis to a two-year contract  Saturday.

The team announced a refund process will be in place for those holding tickets to any games that may be canceled.  Another option is to leave ticket payments intact and receive 4 percent interest.  

Though no pre-season or regular season games have been canceled, several players are already looking to take their games overseas.

Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin agreed Sunday to play professionally in Russia.

Sergei Gonchar, Jaromir Jagr and Pavel Datsyuk are expected to announce they have signed to play in outside of North America.

Nearly 300 NHL players spent the 2004-2005 NHL lockout playing in European and Russian hockey leagues.

The following is a full statement issued by the Buffalo Sabres:

"As of 12:01 a.m. this morning, the National Hockey League announced a work stoppage applicable to all NHL clubs, including the Buffalo Sabres.

If the work stoppage progresses to a point where games are cancelled by the NHL, the Sabres will offer the following options to our season ticket holders and mini pack holders who have purchased tickets for the 2012-13 season:"

Option 1: At the end of each month, the Sabres will refund any games that are cancelled by the NHL. For example, on Oct. 1, the Sabres will refund all preseason games that were cancelled by the NHL in the month of September. The refund process will be communicated to our season ticket holders and mini pack ticket holders (via email and/or mail) if and when games have been cancelled by the NHL.

Option 2: The Sabres will offer season ticket holders and mini pack ticket holders 4% simple interest per annum on the value of the games that are cancelled by the NHL.

Ticket holders will be able to choose which option they would prefer.

A comprehensive information guide regarding the NHL work stoppage and the Sabres’ ticket refund policy is available at Sabres.com and will be communicated to all ticket-holders through email and mail.

For more information on the work stoppage and continuing negotiations, please visit NHL.com.

The following message to fans was issued by the National Hockey League on Sunday:

Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the Players and to the 30 NHL teams.

Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA, competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular season in pro sports; a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year; fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best, and the League has generated remarkable growth and momentum. While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change in the League's economic system, and produced corresponding on-ice benefits, our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division of revenues with the Players -- as well as other necessary adjustments consistent with the objectives of the economic system we developed jointly with the NHL Players' Association seven years ago. Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation -- not through rhetoric.

This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room. The League, the Clubs and the Players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans.