On December 10, the National Hockey League canceled its games for December 15-30, even as a mediation session was scheduled for December 12.
For the Dallas Stars, that means the loss of six more games, bringing their total number of canceled games to 36. This set of cancelations means the Stars lost three home games against St. Louis, Columbus, Minnesota and Nashville. They also lost road games at San Jose, Phoenix and Minnesota.
The Stars’ traditional New Year’s Eve game is still on the books.
The league did not take the step of canceling games on December 31, which means the Stars’ traditional New Year’s Eve game is still on the books. The Stars host Nashville on December 31.
On December 12, the NHL’s chief negotiation team and the NHL Players’ Association is scheduled to meet. The location is being kept secret, but it is known that federal mediators will enter the talks for the first time in two weeks.
Mediators left those discussions after just two days, saying the parties were too far apart.
Recently NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said a 48-game schedule was the least the league could accept playing this season. The NHL played a 48-game season in 1994-95 due to a lockout.
The NHL canceled the entire 2004-05 season due to a lockout, but did not cancel the season until February 2005. The NHL and the NHL Players’ Association continue to negotiate on a new collective bargaining agreement.
The major sticking point of negotiations is the split of hockey-related revenue for player salaries and benefits.