Lockout forces NHL to cancel first two weeks of season

  • The National Hockey League (NHL) canceled the first two weeks of the 2012-13 regular season on Thursday due to a labor dispute with locked-out players.

    A total 82 games, scheduled from October 11-24, have been affected as a result of the decision.

    It marks the first time regular season action has been canceled since a lockout wiped out the entire 2004-05 season.

    "We were extremely disappointed to have to make today's announcement. The game deserves better, the fans deserve better and the people who derive income from their connection to the NHL deserve better," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement.

    The games could still be rescheduled if the NHL and the NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) reach an agreement to end the work stoppage.

    The NHL imposed a lockout, which halted all league operations, when the previous collective bargaining agreement expired 18 days ago with the owners and players at odds over how to split a $3.3 billion revenue pie.

    More than 100 players, including Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and NHL MVP, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have signed deals to play in Europe while the NHL attempts to resolve the matter.