The chances of an 82-game regular season are now pretty much dead. On Friday, the NHL cancelled all of its regular season games through the month of November.
For the New Jersey Devils, it means the loss of 13 regular season games, including six contests at the Prudential Center. It knocks three divisional games off the schedule; one against the New York Islanders at Nassau Colisseum and two (one home, one road) against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It also wipes out Western Conference contests against the Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild (the Zach Parise game) and the Phoenix Coyotes. They also would have played the Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs (twice), Winnipeg Jets, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins.
Their first “potential” game of the season would now be against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh on Sunday, December 2.
We figured as much, that an 82-game season would be extremely unlikely. The problem, however, is these two sides can’t even agree TO MEET, nevermind figure out the core economic issues of the league. If some substantial progress is not made before November is out, we may realistically be looking at no NHL of any kind this season. I think there is still hope, but it is fading fast. When we last mentioned the labor talks on here, the NHL offered 50-50 in HRR….but not really. So the NHLPA offered their own three proposals and the NHL rejected them within minutes of receiving them. Great. And now? The league pulled back their offer on Friday. That pretty much leaves them back at Square One. Until next time…