NEW YORK – What seemed inevitable for the NHL has now become reality. The league canceled the first two weeks of regular season on Thursday.
It isn’t clear if those games will be made up, allowing for a complete 82-game regular season, if a deal can be struck soon with the locked-out players.
The NHL wiped out 82 games through Oct. 24 – beginning with four games set for Thursday, which would have been the league’s opening night.
“We were extremely disappointed to have to make today’s announcement,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. “The game deserves better, the fans deserve better, and the people who derive income from their connection to the NHL deserve better.”
Daly said the league had lost $100 million in revenues from canceled preseason games.
The players will begin feeling the real sting when they don’t get their first paychecks of the season that were otherwise due on Oct. 15.