NHL cancels November schedule
By Rob Rossi
Published: Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, 2:02 p.m.
The Penguins are off until December.
The NHL on Friday canceled regular-season games through Nov. 30, though the league — for now — has kept the lucrative New Year's Day Winter Classic on the docket.
Twenty-three Penguins games have been purged, including 11 at Consol Energy Center. Nine games in October were canceled as part of two previous rounds of cuts.
A Penguins home game last season was worth about $2.1 million to the region, including team revenue, the Tribune-Review reported Sept. 15.
The NHL had canceled games in two-week increments, but Friday's development was not unexpected, as the owners' lockout of players hit Day 41.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement the league “deeply regrets” the latest cancellations. Players' Association executive director Donald Fehr said in a statement the NHL decision was “deeply disappointing for all hockey fans.”
The sides have not negotiated since Oct. 18. No sessions are scheduled.
The NHL's latest proposal was pulled Friday. It called for an immediate 50/50 split of revenue on a new labor agreement to replace the one that expired Sept. 15.
Players most recently proposed a gradual move toward a 50/50 revenue split.
Owners and players also differ on how current contracts will be honored and structural issues such as method of discipline and future contract lengths.
Players are to receive an escrow check near the end of October. They are paid bimonthly and will miss four salary checks with the latest slate of scrapped games. However, the escrow payment essentially will cover the loss of the first two missed checks.
Had a deal been reached Thursday, the NHL believed a full, 82-game season could have been salvaged, with games starting Nov. 2. Training camps would have opened Friday.
The league has plans for a redrafted schedule of no more than 70 games that would begin Dec. 1 if a deal is struck in November.
The Classic — scheduled for Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs — is considered a big bargaining chip for both sides. The game involves a Canadian club for the first time and is the official start of broadcast network (NBC) coverage of games.
The NHL worked a clause into its contract with the University of Michigan that would limit financial obligation to the school if the Classic is canceled because of a labor dispute.
No Penguins players were at Southpointe for organized training sessions Friday.
“Weren't going to be many guys, so everyone just bailed,” club union rep Craig Adams said in a text message.
Only six Penguins players attended three on-ice workouts this week. The sessions are scheduled to resume Monday, though veterans such as Adams and Matt Cooke said they will more seriously consider options to play elsewhere in the wake of the latest cancellations.
Three Penguins (Evgeni Malkin, Dustin Jeffrey and Deryk Engelland) are playing in Europe on temporary contracts that will allow them to return when the lockout ends.
Sidney Crosby, who has joined about 25 other NHL players for a week of training in Plano, Texas, had said he would “have to seriously look at” his European options if the entire November schedule was whacked.
“It would force me to think about it much differently,” he said. “If they say they're going to end talks for a while, I'm going to have to think about things.”
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-5635.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Trade to Penguins caps frenetic period for winger Stempniak
- Penguins notebook: Maatta leaves lasting impression with Selanne
- Penguins stave off Ducks’ shooting barrage to win in shootout
- Penguins notebook: Kennedy struggling to find net in San Jose
- Penguins identify Canucks’ Kesler as top trade target
- Sharks praise ex-teammate, newest Penguins player Goc
- Penguins players have Bylsma’s back after Olympic disappointment
- Penguins fail to land star center Kesler at NHL trade deadline
- Stempniak, Goc embrace trades to Penguins