BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - It is not the news that hockey fans wanted to hear, but with no meetings going on and none scheduled it was inevitable.
Today the NHL announced that it will cancel all games for the month of november after not coming to an agreement on a new CBA.
The league's self-imposed deadline was Thursday to get a deal done and preserve a full 82 game season. That came and went, the league dropped the hammer and with the recent cancellation the hope of a full season is now officially out of the mix.
Both sides released statements today.
First the league from NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly saying in part "We acknowledge and accept that there is joint responsibility in collective bargaining though we are profoundly disappointed that a new agreement has not been attained to this point..."
NHLPA President Donald Fehr responded saying "The message from the owners seems to be: if you don't give us exactly what we want, there is no point in talking. they have shown they are very good at delivering deadlines and demands, but we need a willing partner to negotiate."
It's now back to the drawing board for both sides to get a deal done. As of today, no meetings are going on and none are scheduled. A decision on the possible cancellation of the Winter Classic and the All-Star game is expected at some point next week.
The NHL lockout is also having a negative impact on the business community here in Sabres country.
Now State Senator Tim Kennedy is urging the empire state development corporation to pitch in and help struggling bars, restaurants, and hotels that are losing money and cutting back on staffing levels.
He wants the state to start shaping emergency support plans to help those businesses make ends meet with no hockey now at least until December.
Senator Kennedy hopes to create one time utility grants and interest free financing to help business owners cover short term debts.