Earlier Thursday, the National Hockey League announced it would be cancelling two weeks' worth of regular-season games as the lockout between players and owners stretched into its 18th day. No new new labor talks have been scheduled between the sides, leading NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly to issue this statement:
"We were extremely disappointed to have to make today's announcement. The game deserves better, the fans deserve better and the people who derive income from their connection to the NHL deserve better.
"We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams and good for our fans.
"This is not about 'winning' or 'losing' a negotiation. This is about finding a solution that preserves the long-term health and stability of the League and the game.
"We are committed to getting this done."
The NHL cancelled 82 regular season games, which would have been played Oct. 11 through Oct. 24, including four games next Thursday which would have been the league's opening night. There has been no indication whether these cancelled games would be made up if an agreement were reached, or if the league would simply play a shortened schedule, much like the NBA did last season after a prolonged labor dispute.
It was just one week ago that the league cancelled all preseason games, and the two sides apparently have made little progress in the past seven days over how to split up roughly $3 billion in hockey-related revenues.