As promised, the NHL pulled its latest offer off the table today. Within hours, the league also announced the cancellation of more games, extending through the end of November.
I'm not sure what there is to say anymore. We are at the point where the games are actually cancelled, not just postponed. There's no way there will be a full season at this point, at least according to the NHL. To date, there have been a total of 326 regular-season games lost. That's 26.5 percent of the season.
Many predicted at the start of all of this mess that the season would begin by December 1st. From all the posturing going on, it's pretty clear that is an unlikely scenario.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly on the cancellations via Puck Daddy:
"The National Hockey League deeply regrets having to take this action. By presenting a proposal to the NHLPA that contemplated a fair division of revenues and was responsive to Player concerns regarding the value of their contracts, we had hoped to be able to forge a long-term Collective Bargaining Agreement that would have preserved an 82-game Regular Season for our fans. Unfortunately, that did not occur.
"We acknowledge and accept that there is joint responsibility in collective bargaining and, though we are profoundly disappointed that a new agreement has not been attained to this point, we remain committed to achieving an agreement that is fair for the Players and the Clubs -- one that will be good for the game and our fans."
And here's NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr's statement:
“The league officially informed us today that they have withdrawn their latest proposal and have cancelled another slate of regular season games. This is deeply disappointing for all hockey fans and everyone who makes their living from hockey, including the players. But it comes as no surprise.
Last week the owners gave us what amounts to a "take-it-or-leave-it" proposal. We responded with the framework for three proposals on the players’ share, each of which moved significantly, towards their stated desire for a 50-50 split of HRR, with the only condition being that they honour contracts they have already signed. Honouring contracts signed between owners and players is a reasonable request. Unfortunately, after considering them for only 10 minutes they rejected all of our proposals.
Since then, we have repeatedly advised the owners that the players are prepared to sit down and negotiate on any day, with no pre-conditions. The owners refused. They apparently are only interested in meeting if we first agree to everything in their last offer, except for perhaps a few minor tweaks and discussion of their “make whole” provision.
The message from the owners seems to be: if you don't give us exactly what we want, there is no point in talking. They have shown they are very good at delivering deadlines and demands, but we need a willing partner to negotiate. We hope they return to the table in order to get the players back on the ice soon.”
The cancellations mean that the Hall of Fame Game in Toronto on November 9th—three days before Joe Sakic is to be inducted—is gone, as well as the Thanksgiving Day game between the NY Rangers and Boston Bruins. (Now there's no way I'm getting out of watching basketball at my mom's. Fuck.)
Rumors abound that New Year's Day's Winter Classic is also on the block, with an announcement expected sometime next week.
In other news, the Cutthroats have a game on Saturday night. GO FISH!