U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez sent a letter Monday to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Don Fehr urging them to consider the economic impact on their state if the dispute is not resolved.
The Democrats wrote that Congress has jurisdiction over interstate commerce, which includes professional sports, and will be keeping a "close eye" on negotiations.
The letter warned that the absence of New Jersey Devils' games in Newark could mean millions of dollars in lost economic activity and jobs in especially tough economic times. The Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, creating a financial boost to the city just five months ago.
The lockout comes on the heels of the NBA's Nets moving from Newark to Brooklyn, N.Y.