NHL cancels November games

The SportsXchange

Hockey fans have lost November.

After Thursday's self-imposed deadline to salvage a full 82-game season passed without a resolution, the league cancelled all games through the month of November. This is the third round of cancellations since the lockout began.

Don Fehr, NHLPA executive director, said in a statement Friday that the cancellations come "as no surprise."

With little having been resolved, the New Year's Day Winter Classic is also at risk, and could be canceled as early as next week, a source told ESPNNewYork.com.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said earlier this week that the negotiation process was likely to get tougher going forward. The league is also expected to inform the NHL Players' Association that its latest offer is off the table.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Friday via statement that the NHL "deeply regrets having to take this action." He further estimated that the total loss in hockey-related revenue would be $720 million.

The owners' latest proposal included a 50-50 revenue split and an allowance to pay existing player contracts with deferred payments, but was contingent on playing an 82-game season, Daly told ESPN.com. The offer was withdrawn when it became apparent that an 82-game season wasn't possible.

The NHLPA hasn't made any offers since the league rejected three of its proposals last week.

In a statement, Fehr said the owners rejected the proposals "after considering them for only 10 minutes. 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."
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