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NHL Cancels 1st Regular Season Games

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NEW YORK (Sports Network) - One week before the regular season was slated to begin, the NHL announced Thursday the cancellation of the 2012-13 schedule through Oct. 24.

A total 82 games, beginning from Oct. 11, has been wiped out due to the ongoing labor strife.

“The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners,” NHL Players’ Association executive director Donald Fehr said in a statement. “If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue. A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort. For nearly 20 years, the owners have elected to lock-out the players in an effort to secure massive concessions. Nevertheless, the players remain committed to playing hockey while the parties work to reach a deal that is fair for both sides. We hope we will soon have a willing negotiating partner.”

The NHL and NHLPA got back to the bargaining table last Friday and met for three straight days over the weekend in hopes of coming to a resolution. The two sides resumed negotiations Tuesday, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly didn’t have encouraging news, saying, “no progress was made,” and added that no new talks had been scheduled.

The owners locked out the players when the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sept. 15.

(© Copyright 2012 The Sports Network. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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