In the least surprising news of the week, the NHL has officially cancelled games through October 24th. What does this mean? Well for one, no games will be played before October 24th.
More importantly, though, by only cancelling the first two weeks there is a chance (small as it may be) that we still see an 82-game season. Do I expect to? No. But if by some miracle the two sides decide to actually speak to each other again (novel idea, I know) there is a chance it could happen.
In the meantime, I’d like to remind everyone that AHL preseason games have begun so go follow your teams’ affiliate. There’s also tons of other leagues around the country that can help fill your hockey needs. And why should you watch these leagues? So over the next few years as prospects start coming up you can say you watched them from when they first went pro.
Update: Donald Fehr responds to leagues decision to cancel games:
“The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners. 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.”
Woah. I think things just got real.