After the first 82 games of the scheduled 2012-13 season landed on the chopping block two weeks ago, the league cancelled 53 further contests this morning, offering the following press release:
The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through November 1. A total of 135 regular-season games were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Nov. 1.
The cancellation was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL.
This is completely unsurprising as Gary Bettman announced alongside his CBA proposal to the NHLPA on Tuesday that the best-case scenario for salvaging an 82-game season would have that season begin on November 2nd which is, in a stunning coincidence, the day after the latest game cancelled today. There's still little hope for that actually happening, especially after Bettman feigned disgust with the union's three proposals yesterday, but this at least keeps that option open--likely just so Bettman can turn around and say "we could have had a full season, too, if it weren't for those meddling players!"--and it's not like we were ever going to get any games before that date. Despite all the posturing, however, the sides are closer now than they ever have been which has to count for something.
For the Sharks, this means scheduled games against the Red Wings in Detroit, the Blackhawks in Chicago and the Predators and Blues at home are all canned for the time being which sucks because those would have all been exciting games for various reasons. Watching San Jose take on one of their biggest rivals at the Joe, try to prove they can better handle a Blackhawks team that has had them in a vise grip for the better part of three years, and get a chance at revenge against St. Louis would have been awesome. Of course, at this point, most of us would probably settle for games against the Islanders and Panthers if it meant the lockout had come to a close.