The NHL erased another portion of its 2012-2013 season on Thursday, canceling all games through Jan. 14 due to an ongoing labor dispute between owners and players. In all, the league has cancelled 625 regular season games, accounting for over 50 percent of the original schedule. Thursday marked the 96th day of the lockout, and with another slab of games disappearing from the schedule, the league has seemingly put itself on the verge of losing the entire season.
The Associated Press reports NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an interview on Wednesday that if an agreement isn't reached by mid-January the entire season would likely be lost. Commissioner Gary Bettman has previously stated that he cannot see a regular season being played with any less than a 48 game schedule. Although there is no official deadline date, the comments made by Daly and Bettman suggest that the latest cancellation of games may be the last before the NHL decides to forgo the remainder of the season, unless of course a deal is struck in the very near future.
Owners and players met last week with a federal mediator present, but reportedly there wasn't any progress made. There are currently no future negotiations scheduled. If the two sides are unable to come to an agreement on a new deal, the NHL will lose an entire season for the second time in eight years due to a labor dispute.
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