NHL Cancels Preseason Games Through Sept. 30 in Player Lockout

The National Hockey League canceled preseason games through Sept. 30 and prepared for a four-day work week starting Oct. 1 as the player lockout extended into its fifth day.

NHL owners locked out players on Sept. 16 following the expiration of the league’s collective bargaining agreement. The regular season is scheduled to begin Oct. 11.

The two sides, which have not formally met since the lockout began, are at odds over revenue sharing and player compensation. The NHL made a record $3.2 billion in revenue last season.

This is the third lockout in a North American sports league since March 2011. The National Football League missed one preseason game while negotiating a new labor accord last year, and the National Basketball Association canceled regular-season games before an agreement was reached in late November.

NHL employees will have their salaries cut 20 percent as they move to a four-day work week. League spokesman Gary Meagher said the news was given to employees yesterday by Commissioner Gary Bettman, the Canadian Press reported.

The Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers announced layoffs this week.

Some players have agreed to play overseas during the work stoppage, including Evgeni Malkin, the league’s 2012 Most Valuable Player, and Ilya Kovalchuk, a three-time All-Star. More than 300 NHL players competed in Europe during the NHL’s previous lockout, which resulted in the cancellation of the 2004-05 season.

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