The expected announcement finally came on Friday afternoon,as all negative press releases normally do: the NHL has cancelled theirschedule through Dec. 14 and also whacked the NHL All-Star Game set to takeplace in Columbusat the end of January.
For the Bruins it means 29 total scheduled games have been wiped off the ledger, including 17 games at TD Garden. The first remaining game on the schedule for Boston is a Dec. 15 home tilt against the Florida Panthers.
The cancellations are due to the NHL lockout between the NHLand NHLPA thats been ongoing since Sept. 16, and once again spurred on anapologetic statement from NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
The reality of losing more regular-season games as well asthe 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbusis extremely disappointing, said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. We feelbadly for NHL fans and particularly those in Columbus,and we intend to work closely with the Blue Jackets organization to return theNHL All-Star events to Columbusand their fans as quickly as possible.
The NHL has now cancelled 422 regular season games, or 34.3percent of the regular season schedule. The cancellations would also lead up tothe fifth paycheck cycle for the NHL players and would put them close to 30percent of their 2012-13 salaries lost due to the labor stoppage.
NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr also released his own statement wondering about the NHL's math concerning money lost to the lockout.
"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 Fehr. "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."
The NHLPA submitted a full proposal to the NHL on Wednesdaythat the league admitted was movement in the leagues direction, but theleague opted to reject the offer without much in the way of a counter-proposal.NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr mentioned on Team 590 sports radio in Toronto on Fridayafternoon that the players wouldnt be making any more offers anytime soonafter the league took roughly an hour to shoot down their last proposal.
Fehr wouldnt reveal much about potential uniondecertification, but its expected that any move to decertify the NHLPA would bedrastic action: it would effectively break up the union and allow individualplayers to craft anti-trust lawsuits while seeking damages for last wages. Afull decertification would also essentially bust up the NHL as its currentlybuilt, and would wipe away the entry draft, the salary cap and the essentialstructure of the league as its been built by the owners.
The NBA players association threatened decertification lastyear during their lockout, and shortly afterward a December deal was reachedfollowed by a Christmas Day start to the season.
"Somebody wise once told me that labor relations islike domestic relations except there's no divorce, said Fehr during the20-minute radio interview that followed a similar radio spot for Daly.
The two sides spoke for 10 minutes over the phone on Friday,and indicated theyd both regroup over the weekend before possibly touchingbase again next week.