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NHL Cancels Games Through November

Friday, October 26, 2012

The NJ Devils and NY Rangers face off in the Eastern Conference Finals. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The NHL has canceled all its games through the end of November because of the labor dispute between owners and players.

The league made the announcement on Friday in a brief statement. It came one day after a league-imposed deadline passed for a deal with the players' association that would allow for a full season.

The NHL announced Friday that 326 regular-season games were lost. That comes out to 26.5 percent of the schedule, from Oct. 11 through Nov. 30.

"The National Hockey League deeply regrets having to take this action," deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement.

It said that a total of 326 regular-season games, more than 26.5 percent of the season, were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Nov. 30.

"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."

The dispute, primarily over money, is somewhat similar to the 2004-05 lockout that led to the cancellation of that entire season - the first time a North American professional sports league lost a complete campaign to a labor dispute.

Reaching a new deal became even tougher on Friday because the NHL pulled its most recent offer to the players - one that included a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenues - off the table, Daly told The Associated Press. The NHL proposal was contingent on the league playing a full 82-game season, beginning on Nov. 2, which now won't happen.

"The league officially informed us today that they have withdrawn their latest proposal and have cancelled another slate of regular-season games," union executive director Donald Fehr said in a statement. "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."

Whether any of the canceled games can be rescheduled in the event of a quick settlement remains to be seen.

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