Friday, November 23, 2012

NHL announces All-Star game gone, as are games through December 14

The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through December 14.

The NHL also decided to blow up something that is of questionable interest anyway, the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend which had been scheduled for January 26-27 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The cancellations were necessary due to the absence of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL.

"The reality of losing more regular-season games as well as the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus is extremely disappointing," said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. "We feel badly for NHL fans and particularly those in Columbus, and we intend to work closely with the Blue Jackets organization to return the NHL All-Star events to Columbus and their fans as quickly as possible."

News of this latest round of cuts comes just over 24 hours until a consortium of former NHLers will play for charity in Atlantic City and two days after the league did not react favorably to a union proposal which involved greater concessions than at any point previously.

A total of 422 regular-season games -- 34.3 percent of the season -- were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Dec. 14.

“On Wednesday, the players presented a comprehensive proposal, once again moving in the owners’ direction in order to get the game back on the ice. The gap that remains on the core economic issues is $182 million," said NHLPA head Don Fehr in a statement issued this afternoon. "On Wednesday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league is losing $18-20 million per day during the lockout, therefore two more weeks of cancelled games far exceeds the current economic gap. It makes the NHL’s announcement of further game cancellations, including the 2013 All-Star Weekend, all the more unnecessary, and disappointing for all hockey fans – especially those in Columbus. The players remain ready to negotiate but we require a willing negotiating partner.”

Seven more Philadelphia Flyers games will fall by the wayside, and if a season is to begin at the end of this latest round of cuts, it will be at home on December 15 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

This is Day 69 of the lockout. 
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