With the current CBA set to expire on September 15, the NHL and NHLPA continue to negotiate but remain far from a deal. Unfortunately for Red Wings fans, it appears as though the possibility of a lockout left the team little choice but to cancel the tournament.
According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Ken Holland told the newspaper the following:
We had a conference call with all the teams involved. Due to the uncertainty of CBA negotiations and teams having to make commitments for hotel rooms and travel plans -- the biggest thing is the hotel rooms. The people Up North needed to know if the rooms would be used or not. So we made the decision to cancel for 2012. We plan to be back next year.
Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City was set to host the tournament, which would have included prospects from eight NHL teams: the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues.
The Red Wings' prospects tournament may be the first of many events to fall victim to the looming NHL lockout.
The Red Wings training camp is also scheduled to take place in Traverse City, starting September 20. However, it may just be a matter of weeks before it too is postponed or canceled.
According to The Canadian Press (via TSN.ca), Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr won’t meet in person until the middle of next week. The NHLPA presented its first proposal Tuesday, August 14, which Bettman and the NHL quickly dismissed only a day later.
With less than a month until the current CBA expires, the NHL and NHLPA have a lot of work to do to find common ground and very little time to do it. The 2012-13 NHL season is scheduled to begin on October 11.
Don’t be surprised if that day passes by without NHL hockey.