All-Star Game latest casualty as NHL cancels more games

Courtesy of The Score

The National Hockey League officially announced the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through December 14 on Saturday afternoon.

As expected, the NHL also cancelled the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend scheduled for January 26-27 in Columbus, Ohio.

The cancellations are necessary due to the absence of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.

A total of 422 regular-season games — 34.3 percent of the season — were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Dec. 14.

“The reality of losing more regular-season games as well as the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus is extremely disappointing,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. “We feel badly for NHL fans and particularly those in Columbus, and we intend to work closely with the Blue Jackets organization to return the NHL All-Star events to Columbus and their fans as quickly as possible.”

For the Flyers, this means that games on December 1 at Florida, December 4 at Tampa Bay, December 6 vs. San Jose, December 8 at Uniondale, December 9 vs. the Islanders, December 11 vs. New Jersey and December 13 at Washington are now removed from the slate.

If a season is to start with a new CBA, a December 15 tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes would be the opener at home.

“On Wednesday, the players presented a comprehensive proposal, once again moving in the owners’ direction in order to get the game back on the ice. The gap that remains on the core economic issues is $182 million,” said NHLPA leader Don Fehr in a statement issued immediately after the league’s revelation. “On Wednesday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league is losing $18-20 million per day during the lockout, therefore two more weeks of cancelled games far exceeds the current economic gap. It makes the NHL’s announcement of further game cancellations, including the 2013 All-Star Weekend, all the more unnecessary, and disappointing for all hockey fans – especially those in Columbus. The players remain ready to negotiate but we require a willing negotiating partner.”