The NHLPA doesn’t have the upper hand in much with their negotiations with the NHL, but to this point the Winter Classic has served as their ace in the hole. It’s a huge cash grab for the league, the fans love it, and it’s become the NHL’s signature event. You would think the League would hate to not have it this season.

Obviously an untold amount of planning goes into putting on such a massive event, so for it to happen, you have to have plans in the works by, oh, say, now.

Well, the NHL is aware of this, and sources have told Katie Strang of ESPN that with no CBA deal this week (and good luck getting that done with mass transit shut down in New York due to Hurricane Sandy, as she notes), they will be cancelling the Winter Classic on Thursday.

From Strang’s piece titled “Labor sides have no plans to meet

Although there was limited communication between NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly over the weekend, the stalemate between the sides continues, making it likely that the Winter Classic will be canceled.

Daly said Monday that the two sides had no plans to meet but that the union is ready and willing to meet as soon as necessary.


Since rejecting the union’s trio of proposals, the league has made two rounds of game cancellations. The latest, announced on Friday, wiped out the regular-season schedule for the month of November. A source familiar with the league’s plan told that the league is expected to cancel the Winter Classic on Thursday, the source said.

Along with the cancellation of a Toronto/Detroit Winter Classic in The Big House in Michigan comes the cancellation of my personal favourite show in television, HBO’s 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic.

With the difficulties in travel, and the new, closer deadline, it looks to me like we can kiss both the show and the game goodbye.

At least we still have the All-Star Game in Columbus?

Comments (11)

  1. Are they likely to have this event once hockey resumes? More specifically, if it does get cancelled or they don’t reach a deal until next season, are the likely to hold the same event (Toronto/Detroit) next year?

    • Ha, excellent name. If I had to guess, yes, next year they’ll to Tor/Det at The Big House.

  2. Is there risk that HBO decides not to even bother next year? Could this be the death of 24/7?

  3. This is the worst news I’ve heard. I really thought NBC would put some pressure on to have this game. If this game goes down, it is going to be a long lockout.

  4. You think w/ all the resources NHL and NHLPA have, one would think they could meet somewhere else other than NYC. And what’s with them only meeting once a week? It’s not like they other jobs.

    • The lack of meetings is not a by-product of time, availability, or resources. It’s a negotiating tactic that says, When the League says, “Unless we have something to talk about there’s no point in meeting,” I hear, “Until the PA agrees to take the gas pipe across the board- AGAIN- there’s no point in meeting.”

  5. does everyone here think that the season will open before christmas

    • No. And to be honest, I’m preparing as if the whole season is lost. Too frustrating to hope, and than have the hope crushed.

  6. As soon as they announce the cancellation and I get my refund for my 4 tickets I’m saying goodbye to the NHL. This shit has reached a boiling point for me and I’m not gonna give another dime to two sides that can’t agree that they have a good thing going and how best to split up the paycheques of the unlimited number of fans across North America. Goodbye NHL, we had a good thing for a while. The memories are what I’ll keep with me.

  7. They should only cancel the regular season game. They can still have the media game and the retiired/veterans’ game since neither is a part of a locked out group.

    I’m not surprised that this is happening. The owners have gotten into a collective winky measuring contest with the players.

    I know I’m a good two or three weeks late on this but how great is Mike Modano’s comments. This is a guy that all management figures love: he’s ignorant, self-centered, and short-sighted.

    Here is what I mean: He comes out and says “The lockout cost me $7 million. It wasn’t worth it.” Thanks for the words of wisdom Aesop. Now let’s take a look at the implications of what he’s saying:

    “Don’t spend your time fighting the owners, accept a deal”. This is the EXACT mentality that caused the current lockout to come to fruition. The previous agreement was so bad for the players that it set a precedent. I don’t recall there being a salary cap in the modern era of NHL hockey prior to the 2005/06 season. Do you? Because of their decisions, the players caused a situation where most future players are going to have to deal with a hard salary cap and limit their earnings. Hey Mike, how many millions did you make with Dallas prior to 2005? Oh wait, it wouldn’t matter for you because you are the star. Who cares about the up and comers who don’t get to make more money even though they outplay and outshine you in most/all statistical categories.

    The salary cap is the major consequence of the players backing down last time. This time, the players don’t want to lose more ground, which would cause themselves and future players even more limitations on their potential earnings.

    The agreement needs to be sold to the players making $3 million or less because they are the ones who are impacted the most.

    Think about your favourite team. (Well, Bourne, think about your team in 2015 when they move to Brooklyn). How many players are paid more than $3 million in their annual average or actual salary? The team might have 5 or 6 of their top forwards plus 4 defencemen and one goaltender making more than $3 million. Most NHL rosters have 22 spots. At most, the folks making over $3 million are 50% of the players. So, the players making less money, being asked to roll back their salaries, are truly the ones that need convincing. I don’t remember seeing any major sponsorship dollars for the likes of Patrick Kaleta or Vladmir Sobotka.

  8. Anyone fighting Bettman is fighting for us. They/we can’t just let him lock us out every time the CBA expires to get what he wants for the new one, in this case it is to cheat players out of money they have agreed to pay them and offered in the first place. I don’t understand how anyone can possibly blame the NHLPA for any of this. They are already helping by agreeing to drop their percentage of revenues to 50/50, they just want what is contractually due to them
    The players are doing their part
    When he finally unlocks the doors let’s do ours.
    He gives us empty arenas
    Let’s give him empty arenas
    No More Lockouts
    No Bettman!

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