NHL Cancels Games Through December 30th

Posted: December 10, 2012 by Lamar Lester in Analysis, News
Tags: , , ,

The NHL has cancelled regular season schedule through December 30th due to the fact that there is still no collective bargaining agreement.

The NHL’s press release:

NEW YORK — The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through December 30. The cancellations are necessary due to the absence of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.

A total of 526 regular-season games—42.8 percent of the season—were scheduled for October 11 through December 30.

We’ve entered Day 86 of the lockout, but now we’re a lot closer to ending it than we were two months ago. Even with more games being cancelled, most circles agree the NHL and NHLPA are still very close to making a deal. For right now, the season isn’t in jeopardy. With last week being both the best of times and the worst of times, it’s understandable if there’s skepticism towards the remainder of the season can be saved.

There are reports the NHL talked about canceling games up to January 15th and giving the NHLPA a “drop-dead” date for which they had to agree to a CBA. With games only being cancelled up to December 30th, it leaves room for speculation as to when drop-dead dates come into play.

At Thursday’s press conference, Gary Bettman said he “can’t imagine [playing] fewer than 48 games.” That brings us to December 31st when 13 games are scheduled to be played, including one with Alex Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals taking on Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins. It’s pretty convenient for the NHL to leave that extra day out. So if I had to predict a CBA Deadline Day, I would pick December 31st.

Bill Daly said there are plans for the NHL and NHLPA to restart labor talks this week, but no timetable has been set. When asked about the latest round of cancellations, he said, “[The NHL was] Trying to give buildings sufficient flexibility. Shorter horizon also would suggest we are closer than we are right now.”

If by “closer” he means a CBA is coming soon, then I’m a fan of short horizons.


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