On Friday, the NHL formally announced the cancellation of games through December 14th, as well as the All-Star Weekend Events. The ASG was scheduled for January 27th in Columbus, Ohio. This was announced two days after NHLPA Director Donald Fehr led us to believe that more cancellations were coming. The NHL and NHLPA broke out of talks on Wednesday, never met on Thursday, and talked only briefly on Friday.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly had this to say on these cancellations:
“The reality of losing more regular-season games as well as the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus is extremely disappointing. 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.”
Fehr commented saying:
“On Wednesday, the players presented a comprehensive proposal, once again moving in the owners’ direction in order to get the game back on the ice. The gap that remains on the core economic issues is $182 million. 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. 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. The players remain ready to negotiate but we require a willing negotiating partner.”
The fact of the matter is, more than a third of the season is lost and there is still no new deal. What could possibly make anyone feel like there will be a new Collective Bargaining Agreement this calendar year? In my opinion, nothing. They’ve raised my hopes one too many times. I have no confidence in either side. So, at this point, I’m ready to say, “Screw it, I’ll see you next year.”