NHL cancels regular season games, or just the schedule?

Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

Has the NHL canceled 82 games, or have they just canceled the schedule? Could those games still be played?

There's an important distinction to be made, perhaps, in the vague press release distributed by the NHL on Thursday afternoon. The initial reading of that release is simple: Regular season games through Oct. 24 are canceled. The first 82 games of the 2012-13 NHL season are gone.

But read it one more time. It's not so clear. The full release:

NEW YORK (October 4, 2012) – 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.

Cancellation of the schedule, not necessarily the games? It's bizarre wording on the NHL's part, and all it does is lead to confusion. Could these 82 games be rescheduled, or are they completely wiped off the map? A mystery.

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