The National Hockey League (NHL) wiped 99 more games off its schedule due to the players’ lockout, pushing the 2012 to 2013 season to the brink of cancellation.
With the latest eliminations announced yesterday, the season could not begin until Jan. 15 at the earliest. In 1994 to 1995, an NHL lockout ended Jan. 11 and a 48-game schedule began on Jan. 20. A lockout wiped out the entire 2004 to 2005 season.
The NHL, which previously canceled games through Dec. 30, as well as the All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio, on Jan. 27 and the New Year’s Day outdoor Winter Classic game at Michigan Stadium, has insisted that a 48-game schedule would be required to avoid losing the whole season.
The lockout now has caused the cancellation of 625 regular season games, or 51 percent of the schedule.
While the two sides have no new bargaining sessions scheduled, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was optimistic the season could be saved.
Speaking on a Canadian radio show two days ago, Daly said ”yes” when asked if there would be an agreement reached in time. Daly was told he was only allowed to answer “yes or no” in the interview.