The regular season had been scheduled to begin Oct. 11.
As the lockout continues, the league is expected to cancel games in two-week blocks.
“The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners,” Don Fehr, executive director of the players’ association, said in a statement. “If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue. A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort.”
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement today the league was “extremely disappointed” to announce the cancellations.
“The game deserves better, the fans deserve better and the people who derive income from their connection to the NHL deserve better,” Daly said in the statement. “We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams and good for our fans.”
A Predators spokesperson declined comment.
Robin Henderson, senior vice president of the sports and entertainment division for CapStar Bank, said the NHL cancellations mimic the NBA lockout pattern and that an agreement is likely to come in late November as the 2013 Winter Classic outdoor game approaches.
“The closer you get into the end of November, without having a resolution, is when I would get concerned,” Henderson said. He added that, from a fan perspective, pressure will build later this year as other sports wind down. “College football slows down in December. You still have pro football all the way to January. I think when hockey truly stands to lose a lot is in that December time frame.”
Jamie McGee covers tourism, entertainment and technology.
Jamie McGee Staff Writer- Nashville Business Journal