NHL cancels rest of preseason games

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to the media at NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to the media at Crowne Plaza Times Square. (Sept. 13, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty

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The Islanders-Devils preseason game scheduled for Wednesday in Brooklyn -- the first NHL game at the new Barclays Center -- has been scrapped because of the lockout.

Although negotiations are resuming Friday in New York, the NHL Thursday canceled all 46 remaining preseason games, which also includes the Islanders-Rangers game at Nassau Coliseum next Thursday, because a new labor agreement between the league and the players' association has not been reached.

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More than 7,000 tickets have been sold for the Brooklyn game; fans should contact the Barclays box office or TicketMaster for refund information. An Islanders spokesman said sales representatives were reaching out to fans and season ticket holders regarding the Rangers game in Uniondale.

The earlier preseason schedule -- covering 61 games through Sunday -- was canceled on Sept. 19. The Rangers had two other games remaining on the schedule wiped out: Oct. 6 against the Colorado Avalanche in Kansas City and Oct. 8 against the Stanley Cup champion Kings in Los Angeles.

The discussions at the NHL offices in Manhattan, which could continue through the weekend with time blocked out Saturday and Sunday, aren't focusing on the major monetary issue of how to divide hockey-related revenues, but on smaller issues, such as pension and medical plans, drug testing, player safety, travel rules and the grievance procedure. They are issues that also would need to be settled in the new agreement.

The two sides last met on Sept. 12. The previous collective bargaining agreement expired on Sept. 15, when the league locked out the players. Opening night of the regular season, scheduled for Oct. 11, has not yet been officially postponed.

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