With no talks in sight, first two weeks of NHL season canceled

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 5, 2012 - 6:29 PM

That means no NHL games from Oct. 11 to 24, including three Wild home games. The league says it is waiting for a union counteroffer.


Jason Mulholland paints red hash marks at the Tampa Bay Times Forum as the NHL hockey lockout continues.

Photo: Dirk Shadd, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

With no progress in the central issues needed to reach a collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its players, the league on Thursday canceled the first two weeks of its regular-season schedule.

Gone are the games scheduled Oct. 11-24. Five of the 82 cancellations affect the Wild, including three home games.

If there were still to be a quick resolution between the two sides, teams could play full 82-game seasons. But no talks have been scheduled and the first core-economic discussions between the two parties in nearly three weeks stalled after 90 minutes on Tuesday.

"It was an extremely disappointing but necessary decision," Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner, wrote in an e-mail to the Star Tribune. "There is simply not enough days left to open the regular season on time. We remain committed to continuing to work hard to try to figure something out that will result in the breakthrough we need to get this agreement done and behind us. ... For better or worse, we need a negotiating partner to make that happen."

On July 13, the NHL made the first of three proposals seeking to cut the player share of league revenue, which was 57 percent last season. In its third proposal last month, the league proposed a six-year CBA that would lower the player share to 47 percent the final four years of the deal.

The NHL says it won't make another proposal until the union, which made its first and only offer Aug. 14, counters. The union has refused, saying this isn't a game of "pingpong."

"The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners," NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said Thursday. "If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue.

"A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort."

The NHL became the first professional sports league to lose an entire season because of a labor dispute in 2004-05.

"People ask me every day what I think is going to happen, are we going to play this season, I have no clue," said Vancouver defenseman Keith Ballard, a former Gopher. "Obviously, it's going to take two sides. We've been willing to negotiate and talk, but they think a certain way, and unless they get it, they don't want to talk, I guess."

Wild season-ticket holders can leave their money in their accounts and accrue 10 percent APR interest for each day games remain canceled or postponed, or the team will cut refunds in the middle of each month for the value of games lost from the previous month, Matt Majka, chief operating officer, said Thursday,

On Oct. 15, players won't receive the first of 13 paychecks, although every player receives 8 percent of his 2011-12 salary in an escrow refund. More than 100 players have already left to play in Europe, including the Wild's Jared Spurgeon and perhaps soon Zach Parise, who has an offer to join Spurgeon in the Swiss League.

Others like Ballard, who skates four times a week in St. Louis Park and works out every morning with the Gophers hockey team at Mariucci Arena, plan to stay put for now.

"I guess we continue to do what we've been doing, which gets old ..." Ballard said. "We've given a couple good proposals, and as a union, our last proposal was pretty good. But just kind of reading through what Bill Daly and the league are saying, nothing is going to happen unless we change. So we'll see what happens, I guess. It doesn't sound overly encouraging."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Washington 102 FINAL
New York 91
Oklahoma City 114 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Cleveland 91 FINAL
Miami 101
LA Lakers 93 FINAL
Chicago 113
Golden State 86 FINAL
LA Clippers 100
DePaul 69 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 72
Ohio 58 FINAL
Nebraska 71
Colorado 66 FINAL
Hawaii 69
George Washington 60 FINAL
Wichita State 54
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 7:00 PM
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question