NHL cancels games through mid-December

Nov. 23, 2012 at 2:55 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The National Hockey League on Friday canceled all its regular-season games through Dec. 14 and the All-Star Weekend in late January.

NHL team owners locked out the players Sept. 15 in a dispute mainly over the split of revenues. With the cancellations announced Friday, the NHL will have lost more than one-third of its regular-season games.

The season was to have started Oct. 11 and a total of 422 games had been scheduled between then and Dec, 14.

The NHL All-Star Weekend was to have been Jan. 26-27 in Columbus, Ohio. The league previously called off the 2013 Winter Classic, in which the Toronto Maple Leafs were to play the Detroit Red Wings Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The league has awarded the 2014 Winter Classic to the same teams and location.

"The reality of 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 Friday. "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 league is looking to reduce the players' share of hockey-related revenues, which the most recent collective bargaining agreement set at 57 percent. The owners also seek to do away with salary arbitration and want to alter free-agency rules.

The two sides met Wednesday but broke off talks without making progress toward a new CBA.

"We are still far apart. It's frustrating for everybody," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday.

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