Well, we knew this was coming.
According to our moral barometer, Darren Dreger, the NHL is set to cancel games through December 14th as well as cancelling All-Star Weekend in Columbus. No, I’m serious, look.
Cancellation of games through December 14 expected within the hour . NHL will also cancel the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 23, 2012
And, as Dreger so declared it to be, within the hour it was cancelled indeed.
NHL announces cancellation of 2012-13 regular-season schedule through Dec. 14th and 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend. Details: bit.ly/T2V5YY
— NHL (@NHL) November 23, 2012
Honestly, at this point I can’t even get mad about this shit anymore. It’s just another in a long series of fan face-punching from Gary Bettman and the NHL. Yes, cancelling games makes a certain amount of sense considering all that’s going on and having and, even with a shortened season, an All-Star game after a month of games doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The cancellation will see the loss of 96 regular-season games and we’re getting pretty close to the moment where salvaging any season is just kind of pointless.
Still, it’s unfortunate that we find ourselves here, once again, lamenting the loss of what should have been. All-Star Weekend isn’t exactly my favourite moment of the NHL season but to see it go is pretty unfortunate. I’m actually surprised it took them this long to cancel it, I expected it to go around the same time as The Winter Classic (but the All-Star Game isn’t a bargaining chip, I guess).
It is, however, truly unfortunate for the city of Columbus and the Blue Jackets’ fans. I know I like to take the piss out of the Jackets because it’s fun but between losing their franchise player to the Rangers and the fact that Scott Howson is still running their team, it’s been a rough year for hockey in Columbus. Not to mention the revenue that the team, the city, and the businesses in and around Columbus will lose. All-Star Weekend might be kind of silly but it definitely draws a crowd.
Even the heartless shell of Bill Daly agrees that this really sucks for Columbus:
“We feel badly for NHL fans and particularly those in Columbus, and we intend to work closely with the Blue Jackets organization to return the NHL All-Star events to Columbus and their fans as quickly as possible.”
The question now, of course, is where do we go from here? There are only so many things the NHL can cancel before they just outright cancel the season. All the dominoes have fallen and other board game metaphors. Any and all NHL events that the players could have used for leverage or even just mentioned in negotiations are now gone. The only real “event” that hockey fans would have to look forward to in a shortened season would be the playoffs and, as awesome as the NHL playoffs are, they are not a one-off “event” that would bring attention and revenue to a city that, at least in hockey circles, is usually deprived of those things.
All we can do now is sit and wait for more cancellations to happen. And they will happen.
Oh, yeah, and if you ever worried about being fired, just remember that this is a thing and Gary Bettman still has his job.
Total number of NHL cancellations due to a lockout since 1994: 2,120 regular-season games, three all-star games, one Winter Classic.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 23, 2012
Ugh. Let’s go back to talking about that horse in the hotel.