Tag: lockout


Report: Teams prepping for cancellation of regular-season games this week


Having already lost the entire exhibition season, NHL teams are now preparing to miss regular-season games.

That’s the word from CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, who reports several clubs have started planning on the assumption a cancellation announcement would happen this week.

According to Friedman, it’s expected canceled regular season games will occur in two week “blocks” — based on that assumption, the first slate of erased games would run from Thursday, Oct. 11 (opening night) to Thursday, Oct. 25.

If the league does start cancelling regular-season games, more and more discussions will reference the work stoppage of 1994-95.

That year saw an abbreviated 48-game schedule that began on Jan. 20 and ran to May 3…after 468 games were lost to the lockout.

NHL cancels entire preseason

NHL logo

The NHL announced Thursday that its remaining preseason schedule has been canceled.

On Sept. 19, the league announced the cancellation of its first 60 exhibition games, which included the Frozen Fury (annual LA Kings game in Las Vegas) and games in Boise, Baltimore and Regina.

The latest round of cancellations wipes out the Rangers-Kings affair in Kansas City (Oct. 6) and the New York Islanders-New Jersey Devils game at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center (which was rumored to be dead, now official.)

The exhibition campaign was set to begin on Sept. 23 and run through Oct. 7.

All told, the league has canceled 106 preseason games.


Back to the bargaining table — NHL, NHLPA to meet Friday

League and players plan two additional days of meetings

Lockout effect: What about the refs?

NHLPA wanted more answers before approving realignment

Donald Fehr

When news broke that the NHLPA withheld its consent of the NHL’s radical realignment plan, it seemed stunning and many went into Chicken Little lockout mode. The more you think about, the more it seemed a little brazen that the league expected the players to almost blindly approve such a big change, though.

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr told Sportsnet.ca that the players association wanted more answers than the league seemed willing to give.

For one thing, they wanted more information about travel, but it seemed that the NHL didn’t go beyond vagaries.

“After some initial information transfers,” said Fehr, “it became clear that there would be increased travel but it was unclear as to how much and which clubs and we asked for some sample schedules and (the NHL) said those could not be provided.”

Taking that comment at face value, it’s surprising that the NHL wouldn’t give players a better idea about what new schedules would look like. Then again, maybe there was a concern that they would be held to such hypothetical examples once negotiation time came.

As you may have heard, the playoff setup (which involved four teams coming from each conference even though two conferences would include seven teams while two others would include eight) was a big sticking point. Players wanted to discuss that issue, but that door was closed as well, according to Fehr.

“The players wanted to talk to (the NHL) about the playoff issue,” Fehr said. “We didn’t intend to pre-judge what the results of those conversations would be. The commissioner’s office said they were not in the position to have those discussions and I fully respect that, they’re certainly entitled to take that view.”

It’s often tough to determine what’s truthful and what is just P.R. speak, but if Fehr’s telling the truth, then perhaps the NHL could have done more to inform everyone involved about what is honestly a dramatic change. Personally, I cannot totally blame the teams in the eight-team conferences from feeling slighted. In an age of the salary cap and the significant parity that comes with it, having to beat out three teams instead of four can be a big advantage.

Let’s face it, though; most of us are just taking the “Do what you have to do, but for the love of all that is sacred just don’t have another lockout!” stance. Still, if you’re the type to take sides, the mood might be shifting ever so slightly toward the players’ side.