There will be no NHL hockey until at least December 1, after the league cancelled all games through November, in an announcement made on Friday, October 26, 2012.
Even worse news for fans hoping for a quick deal between the owners and the players, the NHL pulled its latest offer off the table. The NHL’s offer was contingent on playing a full 82-game season, which is no longer possible. In the deal, the owners offered a 50-50 revenue split and also wanted the players to take deferred payments on their current contracts.
During the previous labor deal, the players received 57 percent of hockey related revenues. Throughout the deal the NHL had record revenues, so the owners are looking for a more even split during this round of negotiations. The players are willing to have a 50-50 split if the owners will honor current contracts, but the owners have been hesitant to do so.
According to ESPN, the league will lose $720 million in hockey related revenues from all cancelled games thus far. Currently there is no new labor meetings scheduled between the two sides.
If a deal is not reached soon both sides feel that the NHL Winter Classic could be the next major loss of the lockout. The game is set to be played on January 1 at Michigan Stadium between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.
ESPN reports that Friday, November 2 would be the last day that the NHL can cancel the Winter Classic without having to reimburse the University of Michigan for expenses related to the event. If the league decides to wait it would owe $100,000 of the $3 million stadium rental fee.
The KHL (Kontinental Hockey League), a Russian professional hockey league, also announced late last week that it will moving two games that were scheduled to be played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn back to Russia. Scheduled to be held on January 19-20, the two games would have featured SKA St. Petersburg playing Dynamo Moscow. Both teams are first and second in points in the KHL.
NHL fans would have recognized some familiar faces. Playing for SKA St. Petersburg is New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk. Starring on Dynamo Moscow is Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin. The two teams have already faced off this season on September 23 with SKA winning 3-1.
Brooklyn was chosen to host the games because the Barclays Center is brand new this year. The borough also has a large Russian population. Once the KHL realized that a deal might not be done in time they decided to move the games back to Russia. The KHL recognized that by moving the games back to Russia, it would be an easy sell to Russian hockey fans since the games feature two of the best and most popular teams in the league.
For NHL hockey fans, as each day passes the chances for a season grow smaller.