NHL cancels games through Dec. 30

Posted December 10, 2012

— The NHL eliminated 16 more days from the regular-season schedule Monday, and if a deal with the players' association isn't reached soon, the whole season could be lost.

The league wiped out all games through Dec. 30 in its latest round of cancellations.

Already, 422 regular-season games had been called off through Dec. 14 because of the lockout, and the latest cuts on Day 86 of the NHL shutdown claimed 104 more. The New Year's Day Winter Classic and the All-Star game were canceled earlier.

In all, the 526 lost games account for nearly 43 percent of the regular season that was scheduled to begin Oct. 11.

"I am actually sick of people asking me when it is going to end, because I have no idea," former NHL player Steve Rice said. "It's really frustrating to hear from a lot of people in the area who are really missing going to the games and the people who are out of work right now, from the parking attendants to the vendors."

Jerry Carey, general manager of Five Hole Sports in Cary, one of the largest suppliers of hockey equipment in the Southeast, said the lockout hasn't hurt his business too much yet. But the longer the NHL season remains on ice, the worse things will get, he said.

"It wouldn't be a good thing for our business if this went a full year and potentially into next season," Carey said.

The cancellation of just two more weeks of the season could perhaps signal hope of a deal to begin play in early January. Negotiations between the league and the players' association broke off last week, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Sunday the sides are trying to restart talks this week.

Hockey mask Fans, businesses suffer as hockey season remains on ice

Daly wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Monday that nothing had been completed regarding a meeting with the union.

Whenever the sides do get back together, they will need to work quickly on a new collective bargaining agreement. Commissioner Gary Bettman said last week, after the most recent round of negotiations, that a season must consist of at least 48 games to protect its integrity. That's the same number of games played during the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season.

The 1995 lockout ended Jan. 11. The season then began nine days later and lasted until May 3. That marked the only time the NHL season has stretched until May. Each team played 48 games, solely within its own conference, which is likely the model the league would follow this time if a settlement is reached soon.

"When it gets to the point where we can't play a season with integrity, with a representative schedule, then we'll be done," Bettman said on Thursday. "If you go back in history, in '94-95 I think we played 48 games. I can't imagine wanting to play fewer than that."

Depending on who was asked last week, the message was either the sides were close to a deal or nowhere near one.

Players' association executive director Donald Fehr said Thursday night, after three straight days of negotiations, that he believed an agreement was close, only to change his position moments later when the NHL rejected the union's most recent offer.

Bettman disagreed that a deal was near and then angrily announced the league was rescinding every offer it had put on the table since the start of negotiations.

The NHL and the players are trying to avoid the loss of a full season for the second time in eight years. The 2004-05 lockout, that eventually produced a salary cap for the first time in league history, was the first labor dispute to force a totally canceled season in North American professional sports.

The season was called off Feb. 16, and an agreement was reached on July 13. The lockout ended nine days later, after the deal was ratified by both sides, allowing for the following season to begin on time. That agreement reached then was in place until this year, and the current lockout began right after its expiration on Sept. 16.


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  • shanemane1986 Dec 12, 12:01 a.m.

    I wonder if the owners thought about getting "replacements"! Obviously wouldn't be the same but it would be an awesome slap in the face to the players. I'm use to not seeing hockey on tv anymore or trying to go home from work and 40 not being a parking lot because of the games. Glad there's still NFL, college football and basketball.

  • respect Dec 11, 10:33 a.m.

    Are we sure these guys aren't working in Washington too?

    — Posted by Deacons


    Good one, Deac

    — Posted by StunGunn

  • pause to consider Dec 11, 10:28 a.m.

    Cancelled through Dec 30..... of what year? Forever seems appropriate. I don't envy the wealthy, but it brings to mind a favorite saying of mine: "Until you decide how much is enough, you'll never have enough". All the fun, excitement and associated jobs down the tubes because the greedy cannot decide how to divide the spoils.

  • respect Dec 11, 10:21 a.m.

    Loyal STH, for 11 yrs, we are so disappointed re this year!! However, we have gotten over it. Sad part is that there may be substancial permanent damage to
    hockey in more than THIS market. The greedy players and owners should be ashamed, but why should we expect any better? They all "talk" a good game re appreciating fans, arena workers, and other associates. Will the philanthropy and good will for 2012 continue? I doubt it.

  • sburks1906 Dec 11, 10:13 a.m.

    I'm just waiting for the "the NHL season has been cancelled" news to come out.

  • StunGunn Dec 11, 7:38 a.m.

    Are we sure these guys aren't working in Washington too?

    — Posted by Deacons


    Good one, Deac

  • StunGunn Dec 11, 6:49 a.m.

    After reading the posts here, it seems the Canes are losing a lot of STH's, and that is their life's blood, so if or when there is a season, the Canes Organization will lose even more money than usual. I can't blame anyone for cashing in - why have money tied up in a sport that isn't being played. Sad situation all around.

  • littleriver69 Dec 11, 6:43 a.m.

    Cancel the season...who cares?

  • sanacito Dec 11, 6:30 a.m.

    I've loved this sport since I was a kid. This year, I was going to start taking my grandson. ... View More

    — Posted by sanacito

    ...section 325? Big spender, how much did you get back, $100?

    — Posted by ndcuskue

    Actually, a little over $4000. With that being said, where in the lower bowl do you sit? Never really knew that where you sat made a difference as far as being a fan is concerned.
    CLEARLY, you aren't a hockey fan. You'd be one of those fools that would want to sit by the ice and miss half of the plays cause you simply can't see them. Try sitting up higher to see the entire game. Oh don't go to hockey

  • uncsuckz Dec 11, 3:59 a.m.

    I'm happy that some of the rich owners and players will lose some millions. The owners want the... View More

    — Posted by Hokies94

    I agree! let 'em all suffer. baseball nearly ruined itself in 1994 with a work stoppage. it took years of rampant steroid use to demolish records which had stood for 50+ years, but that's what piqued the fan's interest and brought them back. hope the NHL saw this and will not allow this type of action to prevail once they return to the ice....and they WILL return




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