The first two weeks of the NHL regular season, a total of 82 games from Oct. 11 to Oct. 24, have been canceled, the league announced Thursday.
“The cancellation was necessary because of the absence of a collective bargaining agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL,” the league said on its website.
The NHL locked out its players Sept. 15, when the collective bargaining agreement expired. After talks between the league and the union broke off after a two-hour bargaining session Tuesday, no negotiations have been scheduled.
The central point of contention is how to split hockey-related revenue. The owners are demanding that the players’ share of revenue drop from 57 percent to about 47 percent, a pay cut of approximately 17.5 percent. The union has offered to accept diminished pay raises that would reduce players’ share of revenue to about 53 percent.
This is the third time since 1994 that the NHL has lost games to a lockout.
The list of players signing with European clubs continued to grow. Among those who signed deals Thursday were Philadelphia Flyers stars Claude Giroux and Danny Briere, who both agreed to join Eisbaren Berlin, a powerful team in the top German league. Briere has sole custody of his three children, and his decision to go overseas could be taken as a sign that the lockout might drag on for a long time.
About 100 players have signed with foreign teams since the lockout began. During the 2004-5 lockout, when the entire season was canceled, nearly 400 players joined European leagues.