NEW YORK — The NHL has wiped out all games through Jan. 14, and if it needs to make any more cancellations, the entire season could be the next thing to go.
So far, 625 regular-season games have been canceled, including nearly 200 in the announcement made Thursday — the 96th day of the NHL’s lockout. The league had previously scratched all games through Dec. 30. If a new collective bargaining agreement with the players’ association isn’t reached quickly, another full season might soon be lost.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a radio interview on Wednesday that mid-January is likely the latest the sides could go to make a deal to save the season. However, Daly says he expects the season to be played.
No drop-dead date has been publicly announced by the NHL, which is the only North American professional sports league to cancel a season due to a labor dispute. A lockout forced the 2004-05 to be lost.
The decision brings the total number of lost regular season games to 625, or 50.8 percent of the season, the NHL said in a statement.