After three days of meetings in New York in which the NHL and NHLPA were unable to make any progress on economics, the league is expected to begin wiping out regular season games at some point this week.
So far, just the preseason has been axed, as the league and players have yet to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement. Barring an unlikely 11th-hour deal between the two sides before Wednesday or Thursday, the schedule released by the NHL in late June will essentially be thrown out the window.
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The Sharks are scheduled to open on Oct. 12 in Anaheim and host the New York Rangers in their home opener at HP Pavilion on Oct. 15. However, the likelihood of those games occurring on time is about on par with the Mars Rover making contact with E.T.
The cancellations are expected to occur in two-week blocks, according to CBCs Elliotte Friedman. Thats generally consistent with how the league handled the preseason, when it first cancelled games through Sept. 30 before announcing last Friday that no games would be played.
Over the weekend, the league and players association discussed legal issues, drug testing and pension plans, among other things, but did not discuss the biggest hurdle in getting a deal done distribution of hockey-related revenue. Although no talks were scheduled for Monday, as the two sides broke off for internal meetings, they will return to the table on Tuesday to discuss HRR, according to Louis Jean.
The owners are insisting that the players take a reduction in salary on their current deals, while the players are adamant that they will not sacrifice any money promised them in their previously signed contracts. They are, however, open to discussing other issues related to contracts, as Dan Boyle told CSNCalifornia.com on Friday.
The lockout, which began on Sept. 16, enters its third week.