The National Hockey League on Friday cancelled all games through Dec. 14 and its annual All-Star game as an ongoing lockout continues.
The number of cancelled games now stands at 422. The All-Star game was scheduled to be played on Jan. 27 in Columbus, Ohio. The lockout began on Sept. 15 with the expiration of the previous collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NHL Players’ Association.
“We probably were in a position where further announcements should have been made last week,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an interview with Toronto radio station Sportsnet 590 – The Fan on Friday. “But we wanted to at least give ourselves an opportunity to make progress with the Players’ Association and see where we were at the end of the week. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear as if what we had to say to them on Wednesday had any traction with them. Those unfortunate decisions need to be made.”
The NHL had previously cancelled all games through the end of November and the Winter Classic, its popular New Year’s Day outdoor game. That was supposed to be played on Jan. 1 in Ann Arbor, Mich. at University of Michigan Stadium between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Capitals have now lost 17 scheduled home dates at Verizon Center and another 12 road games. In the 80 days between Dec. 15 and March 4 the team is supposed to play just 15 home games with only four in January and six in February.
“They didn’t dismiss it in 10 minutes as they have several other things we’d done over the course of the negotiations,” NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr told Sportsnet 590 in a separate interview when asked about the most recent bargaining session between the two sides on Wednesday. “They did take two or three hours to prepare a response, they did move on some things. But on the things that matter – the dollars, the free agency rights, the salary arbitration rights, some of the other player contracting rights they’re trying to take a meat axe to – there was no movement. If it was Thanksgiving dinner they gave us the relish tray but no turkey.”
Daly told the radio station that he did speak with Fehr on Friday for about 10 minutes, but as of now there are no further official meetings scheduled for next week. The NHL negotiating committee will meet this weekend to discuss where the process stands and what the league’s next move should be.
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