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NHL cancels games through Dec. 14, All-Star Game

Updated: December 25, 2012 6:19AM

Day 69 of the NHL lockout meant more days without hockey are coming.

Still without a collective-bargaining agreement, the NHL announced another round of cancellations Friday, eliminating games through Dec. 14 and the All-Star festivities in Columbus, Ohio, on Jan. 26-27.

The cancellations were expected as the league’s negotiations with the NHL Players’ Association broke down Wednesday, with the owners balking at the players’ most recent offer. It’s unknown when negotiations will resume.

In a statement Friday, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr defended the players’ proposal. The league has continued to stand its ground on revenue sharing and player contracts.

“On Wednesday, the players presented a comprehensive proposal, once again moving in the owners’ direction in order to get the game back on the ice,” Fehr said. “The gap that remains on the core economic issues is $182 million. On Wednesday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league is losing $18 million to
$20 million per day during the lockout.

“Therefore, two more weeks of canceled games far exceeds the current economic gap. It makes the NHL’s announcement of further game cancellations all the more unnecessary.”

Blackhawks player representative Steve Montador said in an email to the Sun-Times: “There’s no reason for this lockout to go on this long. We’ve conceded over a billion dollars in [the owners’] favor. It’s disappointing to be associated with people with such a lack of concern for the game.”

A total of 422 regular-season games — 34.3 percent of the season — have been canceled.

“The reality of losing more games as well as the NHL All-Star weekend is extremely disappointing,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. “We feel badly for NHL fans and particularly those in Columbus. We intend to work closely with the Blue Jackets organization to return the NHL All-Star events to Columbus as quickly as possible.”

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