Well, I wasn’t very optimistic to begin with but now the hopes of a 2012-13 NHL season just keep getting slimmer and slimmer by the day. Today’s news didn’t do much to stop that trend.
Effective today, the NHL has officially cancelled games through December 14th. That includes the All Star Game and festivities that were set to be held at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio which is the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
NHL executive Bill Daly was quick to “apologize” to the city of Columbus and NHL fans around the world as the public relations battle wages on between the NHL and NHLPA, “The reality of losing more regular season games as well as the 2013 NHL All Star Weekend in Columbus is extremely disappointing. We feel badly for NHL fans and particularly those in Columbus, and we intend to work closely with the Blue Jackets organization to return the NHL All Star events to Columbus and their fans as quickly as possible.”
This brings the total number of games cancelled this season up to a ridiculous and unnecessary 423 games, which works out to be roughly 35% of the NHL’s regular season. Included in those games are the 2013 Winter Classic and the aforementioned All Star Game.
During the 2004-05 NHL lockout that saw the whole season wiped out, the season was not officially cancelled until February. So, while there appears to still be some time left for both sides to hammer out a new CBA, they are running out of time and I’m running out of hope.