NHL Cancels Games Through Dec. 30 as Player Lockout Continues

The National Hockey League canceled 104 more regular-season games in its players’ lockout, blocking a possible start to the season until at least Dec. 31.

The league previously canceled games through Dec. 14, as well as the All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio, on Jan. 27 and the New Year’s Day outdoor Winter Classic game at Michigan Stadium.

The lockout now has caused the cancellation of 526 regular- season games, or 43 percent of the schedule. In 1994-95, the NHL lockout ended on Jan. 11 and a 48-game schedule began on Jan. 20. A lockout also wiped out the 2004-05 season.

Talks between the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association on a collective bargaining agreement have stalled after the two sides broke off negotiations on Dec. 6. The union asked U.S. federal mediators last week to rejoin collective-bargaining discussions in an attempt to revive the talks.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the sides are trying to schedule a meeting for this week, according to the league’s website. The most recent talks ended after a one-hour meeting in which the union made an offer that was spurned by the league.

The two sides are arguing over how to split revenue and other issues, including salary arbitration and the length of unrestricted free agency. League revenue grew to $3.3 billion last season, up 50 percent from $2.2 billion in 2003-04.

Under the previous agreement, players received 57 percent, or $1.9 billion, of the sales. The remaining $1.4 billion, or 43 percent, was shared among the league’s 30 team owners. The league offered a 50-50 split in its latest contract proposal.

NHL players have been locked out since Sept. 16, the day after the old contract expired.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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