There is still a chance that a full slate of 82 regular season games can happen this season, but a lot will hinge on the labor talks for this upcoming week. In the meantime, the NHL has now cancelled regular season games through November 1.
For the New Jersey Devils, it means three games off their schedule, including a pair of contests at the Prudential Center. The Friday, October 26 game versus the Buffalo Sabres is now off the table as well as the Tuesday, October 30 game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Lastly, the November 1 game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center has been wiped out as well.
Their first “potential” game of the season would now be against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Rock in Newark on Saturday, November 3.
Even though the league rejected all three of the NHLPA’s proposals on Friday, I think enough headway has been over the course of the week that there will be a season this year. It may not be 82 games like everyone would like, but they’ve made enough progress now where it would be a huge disappointment to not have a season. This is nothing like the 2004-05 lockout where both sides were stubborn until the season was finally cancelled in the middle of February. Even after that, it still took another five months to resolve. Both sides are closer now, but I still question what the NHL is doing.
They stay firm on their stances, then out of the blue offer 50-50? Well, we found out it really wasn’t that simple. Then, the NHL offers three counter proposals of their own on Friday. Fair enough, right? Then, the owners shoot them down not too long after they received the proposals. Hmm…seems to me one side is only willing to negotiate on their terms. We’ll see what next week holds.