With no fanfare and a similar lack of urgency, the NHL is locking out its players again and setting in motion the third work stoppage in pro sports in 18 months.

This is nothing new for the NHL. This is the NHL's fourth shutdown since 1992 — including a year-long dispute that forced the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season when the league held out for a salary cap. That eventual deal expired at midnight EDT on Saturday. Commissioner Gary Bettman is following through on his pledge to lock out the players with no new agreement in place.

The sides are so far apart in their discussions that they couldn't even find enough common ground to meet face-to-face for negotiations on Saturday. In fact, owners and players have been apart since Wednesday when the groups swapped proposals that seemingly did nothing to bridge the gap.

The regular season had been scheduled to begin Oct. 11, but that is also in peril.

The main issue is money — how to split $3.3 billion in revenue.

There were several signings on the eve of the lockout:

— The Bruins have signed Milan Lucic to a three-year contract extension, worth $6 million annually.

— The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed forward Tyler Ennis to a two-year contract. A person familiar with the contract said the deal is worth $5.625 million.

— The Nashville Predators have locked up another member of their defense crops. Kevin Klein has signed a five-year, $14.5 million contract.