NHL Game Cancellations Begin
By Stephen London
The NHL announced the cancellation of all September preseason games on Sept. 19. For Baltimoreans in particular, that means no Baltimore Hockey Classic at the 1st Mariner Arena Sept. 26.
League wide, the cancellation comes at a time when players are opting to leave the United States and play in other leagues until the NHL lockout comes to an end. Wednesday, the captain of the Washington Capitals, Alex Ovechkin, announced he is traveling to Moscow to play for the HC Dynamo Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia.
Sooner rather than later, more and more players will be suiting up for the European or Russian leagues. But the question is: How many players will return to the United States if the NHL owners plan to slash everyone's salaries?
"I said it before, before I sign contract, if the league decide to cut our salaries and cut our contracts for what they want, I don't know how many guys will be coming back," Ovechkin said during a conference call with the Washington Post and Washington Times. "We signed contracts before and why they have to cut our salaries and our contracts right now? They sign us. [Now they] want to cut it, I think it's a stupid idea and a stupid decision by the NHL, [commissioner Gary] Bettman and the guys who work there."
For now, with games being canceled through September, fans are playing the waiting game while the collective bargaining agreement issues are ironed out. The key date coming up is Oct. 11, because that is when the regular season is slated to start.
Another crucial date is New Year's Eve, a day the owners love because of the money the Winter Classic generates every year. Considering the 2012 Winter Classic, at Michigan Stadium, could be the biggest yet, the owners likely would not want to cancel the event.
Posted Sept. 20, 2012