Official statement from the NHL
The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through December 30. The cancellations are necessary due to the absence of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.
A total of 526 regular-season games—42.8 percent of the season—were scheduled for October 11 through December 30.
Optimism among fans has reached an all time low with another game cancellation announcement from the NHL, but the NHL only cancelling games up to December 30th leaves the possibility of starting the 2012-13 season in early January. Jonathan Willis, who blogs for the Edmonton Journal stated that if a season were to start around January 1st, the NHL could salvage 55-57 games. The shortened schedule would likely contain no intra-conference games and a heavy dose of division games. As each cancellation occurs the NHL moves on to their next contingency schedule for the 2012-13 season, but the schedules will run out eventually.
It seems the NHL and their owners do not remember what happened to the NHL after the 2004-05 lockout, which to a degree the league is still recovering from. Another lockout would not only be devastating for the fans and the players, but for the NHL Brand. The NHL and NHLPA are looking to negotiate again this week, but neither side seems very optimistic about reaching a deal. Both sides say they are hopeful a resolution will be found, but hope will not bring and end to the lockout. Action will.