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NHL Cancels Regular-Season Games Through November 30

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  Commissioner Gary Bettman of the National Hockey League speaks to the media at Crowne Plaza Times Square on September 13, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2012

The NHL has informed teams that all regular-season games through the end of November have been cancelled due to the ongoing lockout, according to Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada.

NHL informs teams games up to and including Nov. 30 will be cancelled. As far as I know, there was no mention of Winter Classic.

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 26, 2012

UPDATE: Friday, Oct. 26 at 2:10 p.m. ET by Tim Daniels

It's now official. The NHL announced that all games through Nov. 30 have been wiped off the slate due to the lockout. The report states that more than a quarter of the season (26.5 percent) has now been lost because no CBA is in place.

The league does not provide any type of update on negotiations, however.

---End of update---

It was an expected move after Thursday's deadline to reach an agreement to save a complete 82-game season passed without any further progress. After some positive signs in recent weeks, talks have once again reached a stalemate.

TSN reported after the deadline passed that the NHL will pull its entire offer off the table since it was contingent on playing all of the games. How that is going to change its stance on key issues like hockey-related revenue (HRR) is unclear.

The key issues remain the same. The Players' Association wants existing contracts honored when a new agreement is put in place, and the league's owners want an even split of HRR after having the players take 57 percent under the last deal.

No meetings have taken place since last week, when the league quickly passed on three offers from the Players' Association, making it clear it is only willing to work off the base offer they made. It brought a halt to negotiations.

The only good news to emerge from today's report is that the annual Winter Classic apparently hasn't been chopped yet. The extended preparation time to set up for the outdoor game means a decision has to be made pretty early.

Throughout the process, the Winter Classic been one of the targets to start a shortened season. Although it's still possible, the rhetoric from both sides in recent days hasn't been promising. They aren't on the same page yet.

The biggest question now is where do the two sides go from here? They have both dug their feet in on key issues and don't appear ready to compromise. Losing the entire season would mark the second time in eight years that has happened.

More importantly, the fans are left out to dry again. It's going to be at least another month before they get to see any NHL action.

 

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