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Commissioner: NHL will cancel more of its schedule

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By Josh Yohe
Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, 7:22 p.m.
 

NEW YORK — The 2012-13 NHL season is in jeopardy, with another batch of games along with the NHL All-Star Game in Columbus set to be canceled soon.

What has become clear is that Bettman, who said that more games being canceled shortly is “inevitable,” isn't interested in letting the lockout drag on much longer. Soon, the hockey world will know if there will be a season, or if a second campaign in eight years will be lost.

Bettman said Wednesday that the league is losing between $18-20 million per day during the lockout. He also shed some light on a possible timetable for a season cancellation.

“You can go look at the timetable from other leagues and other seasons to do it,” Bettman said.

This was a clear reference to last season's NBA lockout. Bettman was NBA commissioner David Stern's right hand man before coming to the NHL in 1993 and still models aspects of the NHL after methods the NBA uses.

Last year, the NBA and its Players' Association engaged themselves in a nasty dispute that wasn't resolved until Nov. 26. The season started a month later on Christmas Day.

There is little reason to believe Bettman will permit the season start should this dispute rage into the New Year.

The NHL started the 1994-95 season Jan. 11 and the regular season began nine days later. That season saw each team play 48 regular-season games.

There remains time for this NHL season to see 60 games.

“That would be fine,” Penguins player representative Craig Adams said. “We know they aren't going to let this thing go on forever. But there's still time to get a deal done.”

Bettman did express optimism because the NHLPA and league grew closer on certain issues Wednesday. Still, he and NHLPA executive director Don Fehr remain combative with one another.

“I'm not focused on anything right now other than trying to make a deal,” Bettman said. “Once we make a deal, we'll see what we can do with the schedule. I'm focused on that. I'd like to have a deal yesterday.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jyohe@tribweb.com or 412-664-9161 Ext. 1975.

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