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Nov. 23, 2012 at 5:15 PM
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NHL cancels games through mid-December

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.

Bears place Rachal on reserve list

CHICAGO, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The Chicago Bears announced guard Chilo Rachal has been placed on the reserve/non-football injury list after leaving the team due to his demotion.

Rachal, who walked out on the team Wednesday after losing his left guard position to Chris Spencer, was back at the Bears' Halas Hall headquarters Thursday morning and the team later announced he had been placed on the reserve/non-football injury list, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Under NFL rules, Rachal had five days to report back to the team after walking out Wednesday.

Placing the player on the reserve/non-football injury list gives the Bears the option of not paying Rachal for the rest of the season, whereas he would have been a candidate for termination pay if he had been released by the team.

An NFL source said Bears officials have serious concerns about Rachal's emotional state.

The San Francisco 49ers drafted Rachal 39th overall out of the University of Southern California in 2008. He joined the Bears in April when he signed a one-year contract.

Tebow emergency-only against Jets

NEW YORK, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow has two fractured ribs but the team still has not activated third-string quarterback Greg McElroy.

Tebow, who said he injured his ribs Nov. 11 in a 28-7 loss to Seattle, stood on the sidelines during Thursday's 49-19 loss to the New England Patriots as an emergency option for the team, but third-stringer McElroy was not activated, meaning an injury to Mark Sanchez would leave the team with only a hurt Tebow to act as quarterback, the New York Daily News reported Friday.

Jets coach Rex Ryan said the injury has been affecting Tebow's breathing and has gotten "progressively worse" during the past week. He said he considered deactivating Tebow.

Tebow said he "had to do a little bit of talking just to dress" for Thursday's game.

Tebow said he hopes he'll be able to play Dec. 2 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

"I just want to be there for my teammates in case they needed me in an emergency situation," Tebow said.

Three Hawthorne horses dead in outbreak

CICERO, Ill., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois said the equine herpesvirus outbreak that claimed the lives of three horses is nearly over.

Steven Seabaugh, the track's veterinarian, said 182 horses were deemed to be in need of testing when the first cases of equine herpesvirus were found Oct. 14 and 48 positives were found, including the three fatalities, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Seabaugh said the remaining 45 horses have recovered or are recovering.

"The overwhelming majority of our 1,900 horses are healthy," Hawthorne President Tim Carey said. "What hurts most is all the rumors. Things are progressing and we're going to get through this."

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