Latest CBA casualty: NHL cancels games through Dec. 30
In what comes as no surprise after the NHL on Thursday broke off negotiations with the Players' Association on a new collective bargaining agreement, the league canceled games through Dec. 30. Games previously were canceled through Dec. 14. The Jan. 1 Winter Classic and Jan. 27 All-Star Game also have been canceled.
That makes 526 games wiped out across the league, 42.8 percent of the season. There is speculation the sides may return to the negotiating table on Wednesday, though that has yet to be firmed up.
Commissioner Gary Bettman said last week if a season is to be played it would have to be at least 48 games, the same amount that was played after the 1994-95 lockout. That still is possible as the '94-95 lockout did not end until Jan. 11.
Even so, Lightning right wing Teddy Purcell called the situation "hopeless," and said if there are no positive developments he likely will be playing in Europe shortly after Christmas.
"You're just deflated," he said of the process. "I don't know if it's a game or what the deal is going on. It's painful."
"I don't know if hopeless is the word," said Lightning wing Marty St. Louis, who was part of last week's ill-fated face-to-face negotiations with owners. "I feel there are a lot of owners who want to play. Those guys who were there want to play. Players want to play, too, but it's getting the deal that everyone can be happy with. When you negotiate, both sides make compromises. That's the part of the process right now we're going through. I hope they bring us back to the table."