League cancels another block of games because of lockout

Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:45pm EDT

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to the media in New York September 13, 2012. The league and the players collective bargaining agreement ends at midnight on Saturday. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to the media in New York September 13, 2012. The league and the players collective bargaining agreement ends at midnight on Saturday.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

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(Reuters) - The National Hockey League postponed another week of regular-season games on Friday because of the ongoing labor dispute with players.

The NHL released a short statement on Friday announcing that all scheduled games up until November 1 had been scrapped because of the lockout.

The regular-season was originally set to start on October 11. The NHL had already canceled the first two weeks because of the dispute and the latest postponement effects a total of 135 games.

The decision to cancel the games came just a day after talks between the two feuding sides broke down, raising the prospect that the entire season could be lost.

Both sides presented proposals on Thursday that they hoped would bring an end to the stoppage but they were unable to reach an agreement, with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman saying negotiations had taken a backward step.

Bettman said the postponed games could still be rescheduled, with a full season starting on November 2, if the players' union accepted the NHL proposal.

But he warned that time was running out and if a deal was not reached by October 25, there was no hope of playing a full season.

The lockout was imposed last month after team owners and players were unable to reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement with both sides at odds over how to split $3.3 billion in revenue.

It is the fifth time in 20 years that the NHL has been stopped because of labor dispute. The last was in 2004-05, when the entire season was canceled.

(Reporting by Julian Linden)

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