Just two days after the NHL said they wouldn't be canceling regular season games yet, Darren Dreger reports that today is the day that everything gets real.
No surprise, but, the first chunk of NHL regular season games will be cancelled today.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 4, 2012
So it's finally time for the lockout to have a serious impact on the NHL season. As a few have pointed out on twitter, the NHL could theoretically operate a condensed schedule and still fit in 82 games this year, but this scenario is unlikely.
Arenas in all the NHL cities already have bookings for other events, so it becomes increasingly difficult to fit games in.
We don't know for sure what time period the cancelled games will cover, but Dreger again gives us some measured speculation.
Although, not official, it's expected the NHL will announce games from Oct 11 through Oct 24th have been cancelled.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 4, 2012
We all knew this was a serious possibility, but the rapid succession of preseason and then regular season games being cancelled is a little bit rattling. At this rate, it doesn't seem like anything is going to be finalized for the CBA until a significant portion of the season is cancelled.
It's important to remember that the season wasn't cancelled in 2004-05 until February 16th, so there just isn't as much pressure on the NHL and NHLPA as we would like to get this deal done.
UPDATE: Now it's official, here's the press release:
NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through October 24. A total of 82 regular-season games were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Oct. 24.
The cancellation was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL.