National Hockey League Cancel First 82 Games of Regular-Season

By Community | October 5, 2012

The National Hockey League (NHL) have announced the cancellation of the first two weeks of the regular season totalling a loss of 82 games from Oct. 11 to Oct. 24, health following the abcence of a collective bargaining agreement.

“We were extremely disappointed to have to make today’s announcement,” Bill Daly, the N.H.L. deputy commissioner, said in a statement. “The game deserves better, the fans deserve better and the people who derive income from their connection to the N.H.L. deserve better. We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams and good for our fans.”

The players have been locked out since Sept. 15, when the collective bargaining agreement that had been in place since 2005 expired. The latest round of talks between the league and the N.H.L. Players’ Association broke off after a two-hour bargaining session Tuesday, and no negotiations have been scheduled.

“The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the N.H.L. season is the unilateral choice of the N.H.L. owners,” Donald Fehr, the executive director of the union, said in a statement. “If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue. A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort.”

The lockout has led to 100 players signing with European teams since the lockout began. During the 2004-5 lockout, when the whole season was canceled, nearly 400 players joined European leagues.

Players will receive their last check from the N.H.L. on Oct. 11, the escrow payment for salary withheld for accounting purposes from last season. That check will amount to about 8 percent of their salary from that season — $80,000 for a player making $1 million, or $192,000 for a player making the average salary of $2.4 million.

After that, players will start missing their twice-monthly paychecks. The first checks for 2012-13 were scheduled to arrive Oct. 16, with the next ones coming Oct. 30.

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