The NHL on Thursday formally canceled the remaining slate of preseason games.
Next up is the regular season, which begins on Oct. 11 for some teams and Oct. 12 for the San Jose Sharks, who are scheduled to visit Anaheim.
The announcement comes as no surprise as the NHL and NHLPA remain far apart on the core economic issues of a new collective bargaining agreement. The league locked out the players when the previous CBA expired late on Sep. 15.
The two sides have not met since Sep. 12, although they are set to formally return to the bargaining table on Friday and possibly through the weekend. While that could be a reason for optimism, its been reported that the sessions will be more about issues not related to economics.
In other words, dont get your hopes up, as its becomes a near certainty that the lockout will drag on for weeks, if not months.
The Sharks, who were supposed to open their preseason schedule last night in Vancouver, will begin refunding their full and partial ticket holders for games lost on Oct. 31.