The National Hockey League continues to scale back the 2012-2013 season, extending the NHL lockout with the cancellation of the Jan. 27 All-Star Game and the scrapping of games through Dec. 14.
That brings the number of games cancelled this season to 422. It also doesn’t bode well for any sort of season to happen.
“The reality of losing more regular-season games as well as the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus is extremely disappointing,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly via NHL.com. “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.”
In addition, it looks like talks between the NHL and the players union have taken another turn for the worse; there were talks between the two sides on Wednesday but none were held Friday. The lack of progress in talks has led players to bring up the possibility of decertifying the union — a drastic move that would allow the players to bring the NHL to court and seek elimination of the salary cap through the legal system, a move undertaken by the NFL and NBA players in their recent labor struggles.
How bad is it? The two sides can’t agree on the financial gap between them, according to The New York Times:
“The gap that remains on the core economic issues is $182 million,” Donald Fehr, the executive director of the N.H.L. Players’ Association, said in a statement Friday, using the union’s estimate of how far apart the sides are in negotiations.
“On Wednesday, N.H.L. Commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league is losing $18 million to $20 million per day during the lockout, therefore two more weeks of canceled games far exceeds the current economic gap,” Fehr said in the statement. “It makes the N.H.L.’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 N.H.L. characterizes the gap between the sides’ proposals as being as much as $900 million.
In reality, an agreement needs to be reached in the next few weeks if there’s to be any games played in 2013.