The National Hockey League announced Thursday morning that it has cancelled the first two weeks of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule.
The news means 82 regular-season games, from Oct. 11 through Oct. 24, have been lost.
Seven of those games affect the Vancouver Canucks – Oct 11th vs Calgary, Oct 13 vs Edmonton, Oct 15 vs Carolina, Oct 18 vs Nashville, Oct 19 vs Columbus, Oct 22 vs Detroit, Oct 23 vs Pittsburgh.
NHL Vice-President Bill Daly released the following statement on Thursday afternoon:
“We were extremely disappointed to have to make today’s announcement. The game deserves better, the fans deserve better and the people who derive income from their connection to the NHL deserve better.
“We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams and good for our fans.
“This is not about ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ a negotiation. This is about finding a solution that preserves the long-term health and stability of the League and the game.
“We are committed to getting this done.”
NHLPA director Donald Fehr released this statement on the news:
“The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners. If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue.
A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort.
For nearly 20 years, the owners have elected to lock-out the players in an effort to secure massive concessions. Nevertheless, the players remain committed to playing hockey while the parties work to reach a deal that is fair for both sides.
We hope we will soon have a willing negotiating partner.”