The NHL lockout claimed another chunk of the regular season Friday as the league canceled games through Nov. 1.
The Sharks will lose another four games: Oct. 26 at Detroit, Oct. 27 at Chicago, Oct. 30 vs. Nashville and Nov. 1 vs. St. Louis. They already had lost five games: Oct. 12 at Anaheim, Oct. 15 vs. the New York Rangers, Oct. 18 vs. Edmonton, Oct. 20 vs. Carolina and Oct. 24 at Colorado.
By wiping out the third week of the regular season Friday, the NHL left no more wiggle room if it hopes to play a full 82-game schedule.
A day after the NHL turned down three counterproposals from players, the league canceled 53 more games. A total of 135 games through Nov. 1 have been scratched, which amounts to 11 percent of the season.
In its third lockout since 1994, the NHL is sticking to its most recent proposal that stated a full 82-game-per-team schedule could be played if the season begins by Nov. 2. The league says a deal must be reached with the union by next Thursday for that to happen.
Two weeks ago, the league called off 82 games from Oct. 11-24.
On Thursday, the union rejected the NHL's proposal made two days earlier that offered a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenues and ensured a full regular-season schedule. In brief talks, the players countered with three offers that were, in turn, quickly dismissed by the league.
"The players made another major move in the negotiations by presenting the owners with a proposal that gets to a 50-50 split of revenues," said former player Mathieu Schneider, now the NHLPA special assistant to the executive director.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he was "thoroughly disappointed" as he and the league delegation left union headquarters in Toronto. Bettman said the owners' proposal was the "best that we could do" and added that the sides are still far apart.
"None of the three variations of player share that they gave us even began to approach 50-50, either at all or for some long period of time," Bettman said Thursday. "It's clear we're not speaking the same language."
No new talks are scheduled.
If next Thursday's deadline passes, more games will likely be cut, and the New Year's Day Winter Classic will be the next big event in danger of being lost. Detroit is slated to host Toronto at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Jan. 1.
Union executive director Donald Fehr said two of the union's proposals would have the players take a fixed amount of revenue, which would turn into an approximate 50-50 split over the term of the deal, provided league revenues continued to grow. The third approach would be a 50-50 split, as long as the league honored all existing contracts at full value.
None of it made any positive impression on the NHL.