The NHL canceled its annual All-Star Game and two more weeks of games Friday because owners and players remain stalemated in their negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. Read more after the jump.
With the lockout now in its 69th day, the NHL officially has canceled the first nine weeks of the regular season for a total of 422 lost games though Dec. 14. It has also announced that it won’t hold the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Jan. 1.
The Columbus Dispatch estimated that the All-Star Game would have brought in $12 million to the area. Fans can get refunds from the agency through which they purchased the tickets.
The two sides last met on Wednesday when the NHL Players Association’s new proposal failed to bring about traction toward a quick resolution. No new bargaining sessions are scheduled, although the two sides chatted for about 10 minutes on Friday and have had open lines of communication.
The two sides are currently $182 million apart on the issue of dividing hockey-related revenue and they have vastly different views on the individual contracting issues.
“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 canceled games far exceeds the current economic gap ($182 million),” NHL Players’ Association executive director Donald 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 â?? especially those in Columbus. The players remain ready to negotiate but we require a willing negotiating partner.”
If the two sides reach an agreement, it is expected to take about 10 days to launch a season. Players would need about two or three days to report for a seven-day training camp.
If the league could start a season by Dec.15, it would be possible to play 60 or 62 games.
Written by Kevin Allen for USA Today Sports