The NHL on Friday announced the cancellation of the regular-season schedule through Nov. 1, running the total of missed games league-wide to 135.
The league, which locked players out on Sept. 15, had previously canceled games from Oct. 11 through Oct. 24, the first 82 games on the schedule.
The timing of the announcement and the cutoff of Nov. 1 are easily explained.
The announcement of additional cancellations follows an acrimonious day in which the NHL Players’ Assn. turned down an offer from the league and was, in turn, rebuffed when it presented three alternatives to the league’s plan. Canceling additional games guarantees players will miss a second paycheck — they would have received the first on Oct. 15 and the second on Oct. 29 — and puts more pressure on the NHLPA to accept the league’s deal.
Stopping the cancellations at Nov. 1 allows the NHL to leave its last offer on the table and at least publicly maintain that a full season remains possible. The NHL made that offer contingent on a new collective bargaining agreement being reached by Oct. 25 and the season starting on Nov. 2.