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

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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."

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San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
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