Well, it’s pretty much official now Panther fans. The NHL informed all teams today that they were cancelling every game through November 30th, according to a tweet from Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman. (Source: CBC)
An official announcement from the NHL has now been made and it does not at this point look like the Winter Classic will be affected. (Source: NHL) Of course, there are some reports that the Winter Classic could be wiped out as soon as next week or the week after but that’s just speculation as of now.
As for the Panthers, they lose seven home games and six road games. This includes five divisional games, two of those against the Capitals (home and away), one in Carolina against Eric and Jordan Staal, Alexander Semin and the rest of the Canes and one each at home versus the Winnipeg Jets and cross-state/divisional rival, the Tampa Bay Lightning. They also lose the chance to host last season’s regular season Eastern Conference champion, the New York Rangers, 2011′s Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins (minus Tim Thomas of course) and the Nick Lidstrom-less Detroit Red Wings. Finally, they lose the opportunity of facing former Panther David Booth and the Canucks as well as traveling to New Jersey for the first time since Game 6 of last season’s Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
I’m just going to say, in my opinion, this has gotten really old. I’m beyond caring about whose fault this is–in my opinion, both sides are at fault–but the blame game won’t get us anywhere so I’ll leave it at that. I will, however, remind both sides that fans are their main source of revenue and every day this continues the sport is losing a few fans. That doesn’t include me because it takes a LOT to get me to turn my back on the league I love. I know you die-hards are with me on that! I will say though that the longer this drags on the more fans, and this includes the die-hards, will get tired of paying to see bickering billionaires play a game that they supposedly love.
Finally, I’m just going to say to both the NHL owners and players: GET A DEAL DONE and make it SOON!! No one feels sorry for either of you so JUST DO IT! It doesn’t matter how, it just matters that you get it done so we can see some hockey this season!