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THE REGULAR SEASON
For the first time in National Hockey League history, no games are played during the season.
After five months of negotiations between the team owners and the NHL Players’ Association towards renewing the collective bargaining agreement, the season is officially cancelled on February 16, 2005.
In September, Saku Koivu (Finland), Alex Kovalev and Andrei Markov (Russia), and Richard Zednik (Slovakia) take part in the World Cup of Hockey, which is held in seven cities in North America and Europe, including Montreal.
Most of the team’s players spend the season honing their skills in Europe, waiting for an end to the lockout. Meanwhile, the NHL prepares for the 2005-06 season by instituting a number of rule changes, in particular the addition of a shootout, eliminating the “two-line pass” offside, and not allowing line changes for teams called for icing prior to the ensuing faceoff.
On July 13, 2005, the league’s players and owners come to terms on a new deal. On July 22, the NHL holds a league-wide lottery to decide the teams’ order of selection for the entry draft and determine who will win the right to choose Sidney Crosby with the first pick.
The Canadiens draw the fifth choice overall and draft goalie Carey Price.
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