Lockout forces NHL to cancel games through December 14

Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:57pm EST
 

(Reuters) - The National Hockey League (NHL) axed another two weeks of the regular season and scrapped the 2013 All-Star Game in Columbus on Friday given a lockout of players that puts the entire season in jeopardy.

The decision by the NHL, which has said it is losing $18-$20 million a day during the lockout, wipes out action through December 14 and brings the total number of lost regular season games to 422, or 34.3 percent of the 2012-13 regular season.

"Losing more regular-season games as well as the 2013 NHL All-Star weekend in Columbus is extremely disappointing," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement.

"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."

The regular season was originally scheduled to begin on October 11 but the NHL locked out its players in mid-September when the previous labor agreement expired with the two sides at odds over how to split $3.3 billion in revenue.

Hopes of salvaging even a partial season are fading quickly with NHL owners and players union at a standoff.

The latest proposal from the NHL Players' Association, which estimates the gap on core economic issues at $182 million, was shot down on Wednesday with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman saying the two sides were still far apart.

"Bettman said that the league is losing $18-$20 million per day during the lockout, therefore two more weeks of canceled games far exceeds the current economic gap," NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr said in a statement.

"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."   Continued...