Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NHL cancels all September preseason games because of lockout

OVI  ANGRY: The Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin, center, celebrating a winning goal in overtime against the Lightning in last season’s playoffs, says he may not return to the NHL from Russia after the lockout if his salary is cut.

Associated Press

OVI ANGRY: The Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin, center, celebrating a winning goal in overtime against the Lightning in last season’s playoffs, says he may not return to the NHL from Russia after the lockout if his salary is cut.

NEW YORK — The NHL on Wednesday canceled its September preseason game schedule, the first on-ice casualty of the lockout.

The league wiped out all games through Sept. 30 "because of the absence of a collective bargaining agreement" with the players association, it said in a statement.

The league has "no set policy on cancellations" of other games, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.

The regular season is scheduled to begin on Oct. 11. The Lightning opens Oct. 13.

The Lightning loses four preseason games, one of them at the Tampa Bay Times Forum scheduled for Sept. 26 against the Blues. Another game was scheduled for Orlando on Oct. 27 against the Hurricanes.

Lightning season ticket holders will be notified of refund options, the team said. People who bought single-game tickets to canceled games should contact the point of purchase for refund information.

Also on Day 4 of the lockout, the league told its employees it will switch to a four-day work week Oct. 1, according to media reports. The employees also will take 20 percent pay cuts, ESPN reported.

Daly said on Canadian radio he and commissioner Gary Bettman, who makes around $8 million a year, would forgo their salaries during the lockout.

The Panthers and Senators have let staff go. Several other teams, including the Lightning, have said they don't have layoff plans as of now.

It was thought the sides would have a formal negotiating session Wednesday, but none was held. No formal sessions were scheduled.

Daly and union special counsel Steve Fehr have been in constant communication since the lockout began Sunday, and they had planned to speak informally Wednesday.

Ovechkin threatens exit: On the day he signed a contract to play for his former Russian KHL team, Dynamo Moscow, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin reiterated that if a new collective bargaining agreement includes dramatic rollbacks in existing salaries, he might not return to the league once the lockout ends. "If our contracts get slashed … I won't rule out staying in the KHL, even past this season," Ovechkin said, as translated by the Russian sports news­paper Sport-Express.

Other players also might not return, he said. "Why they have to cut our salary and our contracts right now? They sign us. (Now they) want to cut it. I think it's a stupid idea and stupid decision by NHL, Bettman and the guys who work there."

If Ovechkin or any other player who signed with a KHL team were to stay in Russia once the NHL season started, he would be in violation of his deal with his NHL team, and the breach of contract would be in conflict with the league's agreement with the KHL to honor each other's player contracts.

An estimated 45-plus players have signed with European teams since the lockout began.

Fighting rules: The NHL said it will be "watching closely" rules to curb fighting that the junior Ontario league instituted Wednesday. The rules allow players 10 fights before supplementary discipline kicks in. For each fight from 11 to 15, a player will be suspended two games. For each fight after 16, a player gets a two-game suspension and his club gets fined $1,000. Fights instigated by an opponent don't count against a player's total. A player who totals 10 fights and then instigates one or more gets a four-game suspension plus other penalties for each instigation. The Ontario league talks to the NHL when it makes rule changes, Colin Campbell, NHL senior vice president and director of hockey operations, told ESPN. The NHL had debated internally instituting fighting rules, he said.

Times staff writer Damian Cristodero contributed to this report.

NHL cancels all September preseason games because of lockout 09/19/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 10:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB

    Bucs

    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]

  2. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  3. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  4. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  5. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH

    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.