The NHL is in the midst of another lockout, and the situation took another disheartening turn on Wednesday.
According to NHL.com, the league has canceled all preseason games through Sept. 30. The report states that "the cancellation of the schedule was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL."
The preseason slate was originally set to begin on Sept. 23 with a matchup between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens. Now, hockey fans will have to wait at least an extra week before their favorite players take the ice.
While this announcement is discouraging, it can't be considered surprising. Wednesday marks the fourth day of the lockout, and no meetings are scheduled between the NHL and the players union.
No one wants to see hockey games canceled, even if they are just preseason contests. It adds to the notion that regular-season hockey could be lost, and that's the last thing fans of the sport want to see.
This has happened before. The NHL lost its entire season due to salary-cap issues in 2004, and this is the league's fourth lockout-type scenario since 1997. At this point, it's all too familiar ground for all sides involved.
Also lost in this mess is the 2012 Kraft Hockeyville game scheduled for Oct. 2 in Belleville, Ontario. The game was awarded to the town of Stirling-Rawdon after winning the "Hockeyville" competition.
Hopefully, the losses will go no further. Stay tuned for more information regarding this frustrating situation.