NHL axes November schedule; 12 more Sharks games cancelled

Games in Los Angeles, Washington and Pittsburgh in addition to home games against the Blackhawks and Ducks are among the casualties as 12 Sharks games were wiped clean from the NHL schedule today along with the rest of the league's November contests.

Elliotte Friedman of CBC reports that, as expected, the NHL has cancelled the remainder of their November schedule; a total of 326 games in addition to the 135 already flushed by the league in recent weeks. Seeing as the NHL and players' association haven't held formal meetings in over a week and the league withdrew their most recent CBA proposal yesterday, this was entirely predictable but still disappointing.

For the Sharks, this means home games against the Avalanche, Sabres, Islanders, Blue Jackets, Blackhawks and Ducks in addition to games in Colorado, Phoenix, Dallas, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Washington are today's casualties. And, unlike the last round of cuts, it's very unlikely all of those games will be rescheduled as there is no longer any chance of a full 82-game season taking place.

Frustratingly, the two sides remain closer than ever (assuming the league is still willing to settle for their now-withdrawn proposal, which they probably are) and today's cancellations likely could have been avoided if they had replaced some of their public posturing with negotiations. It really would be nice if we could just settle this with a cage match between Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr. Put it on pay-per-view and the league might make up some of its lost revenue.