NHL Cancels Regular Season Games through Dec. 14, All-Star Game
New York, NY
With the NHL and the union "far apart" in negotiations, the league has shelved the regular season games through Dec. 14 and the Jan. 27 All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio.
"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 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," Daly added.
The league has now cancelled a total of 422 regular-season games, or 34.3 percent of the season. The NHL has also cancelled some of its marquee events, including the annual Winter Classic.
With the NHL and the players' union at a stalemate, many are expecting that the cancellation of the entire season could happen in the next announcement.
The announcement came two days after negotiations between the NHL and the NHL Players Association broke down anew.
Following the league's request, the union submitted a new proposal Wednesday but that offer was rejected, putting the talks at a standstill.
In its latest proposal, the union offered to link the players' share to revenue in the league's preferred percentage-based system, which is a substantial concession considering the guaranteed player amount featured in player proposals.
Bettman said that the damage incurred from the lockout has resulted in the league losing between $18 to $20 million by the day.
"To expect our best economic proposal to get better as the damage continues to increase isn't particularly realistic," Bettman said.
However, Fehr said the gap between the two sides on core economic issues is $182 million or just 10 days worth of money the NHL is currently losing by not playing games.
"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," Fehr said. "The players remain ready to negotiate but we require a willing negotiating partner."
According to a source, the latest rejection has angered players within the union's ranks, with some of them already mulling to raise the issue of decertification as a potential option moving forward.
The move would essentially disband the union and allow the players to file an antitrust lawsuit against the NHL.
Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr explain the status of the NHL lockout after recent labor negotiations between the league and players' union
Bettman and Fehr update the lockout status
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