NHL canceled through year’s end
The NHL announced Monday that all games have been canceled through Dec. 30.
There already have been 422 regular-season games lost through Dec. 14 because of the lockout, and the latest cuts on Day 86 of the league shutdown claimed an additional 104. The NHL previously called off the New Year’s Day Winter Classic, as well as the All-Star Game.
In all, the 526 lost games account for nearly 43 percent of the regular season that had been scheduled to begin Oct. 11.
The league and the NHLPA remain in a stalemate in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Sunday that the sides are trying to restart talks this week.
Daly wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Monday that nothing had been completed regarding a meeting with the union.
The two sides met for three consecutive days last week, but to no avail. Multiple marathon sessions involving only players and owners were aimed to inject some fresh voices into the negotiating room, but yielded little except for a dramatic breakdown of talks.
Although the league and union had appeared to be making significant progress discussions went south Thursday night.
The league essentially pulled its most recent offer after the union failed to provide a “yes or no” answer on their three non-negotiable items: five-year contract term limits, a 10-year CBA and compliance on the transition rules.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, who portrayed the two sides as close to an agreement earlier Thursday evening, said the union was notified via voicemail message that their offer was “not acceptable.”
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman disagreed that a deal was near, then angrily announced the league was rescinding every offer it had put on the table since the start of negotiations.