The first six games of the New York Islanders hockey season has been cancelled amid continued squabbling between millionaires and billionaires over a new NHL collective bargaining agreement.
The league announced Thursday the cancellation of regular season games from October 11 through October 24 as the NHL Players’ Association and owners continue to discuss a new deal. A total of 82 regular season games were scheduled for the first two weeks of the season.
“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 news also means local Islanders fans will miss out on the first three home games of the season at Nassau Coliseum. The team’s next scheduled game is October 26.
Hockey fans have seen this happen before.
Seven years ago, a lockout caused the entire regular season to be washed away.
The two sides have reportedly been meeting in recent days but they have yet to reach an agreement on how to divide $3 billion in hockey-related revenues.
The league had already cancelled all preseason games during the lockout.
“The players have made multiple proposals that are favorable to the owners,” NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr told the Associated Press this week. “The owners have not made a single proposal which would give the players anything meaningful. In fact, for much of September the owners did not even want to meet unless it was on their terms.”
IN an e-mail to the AP, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, said: “(It’s) not a constructive position to say, ‘Here’s our first offer. We think it’s really good. Call us back when you are ready to accept it.’ That’s what the union has effectively done here.”
-With Associated Press