DETROIT – Four days after the NHLPA’s last proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement wasn’t accepted, the league announced today the cancellation of 104 more regular-season games through Dec. 30.
The dissolution of this latest round of games wipes out seven more Red Wings games, including three home games in five days involving the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings (Dec. 18), the New York Islanders (Dec. 20), and Columbus Blue Jackets (Dec. 22). The cancellation also eliminates what was left of the Wings’ December road dates at Nashville (Dec. 15), Carolina (Dec. 26), Pittsburgh (Dec. 27) and Ottawa (Dec. 29).
In total, the Red Wings have lost 35 games, which is nearly 43 percent of their 2012-13 season. The lockout has claimed 526 games league-wide.
Prior to Monday’s announcement, the league last cancelled a two-week stretch of games on Nov. 23, wiping out the season through Dec. 14.
The NHL and the players’ association have been without a CBA since Sept. 16. Games have been cancelled through Dec. 30, along with the Winter Classic, which was scheduled for Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, and the NHL All-Star Game in Columbus.
Labor talks broke down late last Thursday after it appeared that the two sides had made significant traction toward a deal earlier in the week.
During a press conference held last Thursday in New York, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was asked about the urgency to get a deal done prior to a mythical deadline to cancel the remainder of the season.
“I keep hearing that we have some magic date,” Bettman fumed. “You know what my magic date was? It was Oct. 11 when we should have opened the season with a new collective bargaining agreement. And the fact of the matter is that we will get to a point … that we can’t have a season with integrity, and then we’ll have to make a tough decision.
“I am certainly hoping that we don’t get to that place. But when we do, we’ll be there.”