NHL cancels games through Nov. 1

NHL cancels games through Nov. 1
October 19, 2012, 3:15 pm

It was a formality, really.

One day after talks between the NHL’s owners and players broke down without palpable signs of a resolution the league cancelled all regular season games through Nov. 1 on Friday.

The cancellations bring the total of NHL games lost to 135 – from Oct. 11 through Nov. 1.
 
For the Capitals that means a total of 10 October games have been wiped away, five at home and five on the road. Included in those five home games is the highly anticipated return of Sidney Crosby and the Penguins on Halloween night.

The Devils, Panthers, Maple Leafs and Jets also had scheduled visits to Verizon Center in the month of October. The Caps were scheduled for October road trips to Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary and Minnesota.
 
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said there is a deadline of Oct. 25 for the players to agree to the owners’ most recent 50-50 proposal and play an entire 82-game season. But when the owners flatly rejected three counter proposals by union executive director Don Fehr on Thursday, hopes of a full NHL season evaporated.

“I think [the owners] want to put pressure on the players to make a rushed decision,” Capitals left wing Jason Chimera said. “We want to get 82 games as much as anybody else does. But we want to get a fair deal for both sides.”

Bettman said he was “thoroughly disappointed” with the players’ proposals on Thursday and said the owners gave it their “best shot” at saving a full season. The question now seems to be, what are the chances there will be a season at all?

“Ahhh … well … I think they’re pretty good,” Chimera said. “It’s whether the owners want to honor the [current] contracts. We gave them three proposals which were turned down in 10 minutes. We took a day and a half to look over theirs. I don’t think they necessarily took it back to all their owners and showed them our proposals. I want to believe there’s hockey. That’s what we do.”

Chimera said Fehr was back in his office Friday morning trying to come up with another strategy that would allow the players to go back to work without giving up 12.3 percent of their salaries.

“Hopefully, cooler heads prevail over the weekend,” Chimera said. “Maybe we get some traction. Maybe Gary [Bettman] takes it back to the owners and some of the guys say it looks pretty good. I know from Don’s standpoint he’s already working this morning on how to move things forward.”