NHL cancels regular-season games through Dec. 30

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – After last week’s failed labor talks, the NHL has announced the cancellation of regular-season games through Dec. 30.

The move brings the total number of shelved games from October 11 to December 30 to 526, or 42.8 percent of the regular season schedule.

The total includes the Jan. 1 Winter Classic game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs and the Jan. 27 All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio.

Earlier, NHL deputy commissioner Billy Daly said the league and the NHL Players Association are working at getting back to the bargaining table.

“Trying to set up something for this week, but nothing finalized yet,” Daly said in regards to resumption of the negotiating process.

The two sides met for nearly 20 hours during sessions last Tuesday and Wednesday in New York City before negotiations reached an impasse Thursday.

Commissioner Gary Bettman is hoping that a deal could be reached so that a 48-game per team season could be played.

“When it gets to the point where we can’t play a season with integrity, with a representative schedule, then we’ll be done,” said Bettman. “If you go back in history, in 1994-95 I think we played 48 games. I can’t imagine wanting to play fewer than that.”

In 1994, a collective bargaining agreement was reached on Jan. 11 and the season started on Jan. 20 and ran until May 3.

Earlier, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr announced that the two sides were close to a fresh labor deal.

However, the NHL denied Fehr’s statement, saying there were still major issues to work out.

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