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Report: Next season won’t kick off in Europe

Mar 14, 2012, 6:02 PM EDT

NHL Premiere Series - Stockholm

While the practice has received its fair share of mixed reviews, the NHL’s tradition of kicking off its regular season by playing several games in Europe provides fans and players with a unique experience. Chris Johnston reports that the unsettled CBA situation prompted the NHL to nix the “Premiere Games” for 2012, though.

To date, there have been no formal bargaining talks between the league and NHL Players’ Association.

However, the sides have discussed the status of the premiere games for next season.

The league was willing to schedule them, but an agreement couldn’t be reach with the NHLPA over how cancellation costs would be handled in the event of a work stoppage, according to two sources.

It’s logical for the NHL to play it safe and avoid confusion regarding games that simply might not happen if the CBA talks stall. Still, it certainly calls Gary Bettman’s “business as usual” comments into question since – most literally – this is a break from the way the league has been doing business the last few years.

It’s not time to lay flowers on the 2012-13 season’s grave just yet, but it does speak to the concern that the NHLPA and NHL have some work to do.

Players can look on the bright side, though: if the season goes off without a hitch, they’ll save a little wear and tear from travel.

  1. bct11554 - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    As a big hockey fan there is no way I can take another work stoppage. These men need to get it done without even missing a single preseason game. Please for the sake of the fan GET IT DONE

  2. balewsquare - Mar 14, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    I never understand why grown men with millions on the line still continue to procrastinate like high schoolers writing a term paper.

    • blomfeld - Mar 14, 2012 at 10:44 PM

      friend … only once you’ve arrived to such wealth, then and “only” then will you understand why they behave so …

  3. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Mar 15, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    I hope they understand how badly this will set the game back with the average fan (again and worse this time)… the NHL finally got something on a major network in the states with NBC / Versus.

    Do you remember when the mothership “ESPN” used to carry NHL games and have hockey Tuesday nights. I am all for not having to pay for the NHL package from my cable provider to watch more games.
    Less for fans will happen AGAIN if they fail to get a new CBA

    FIGURE IT OUT A-HOLES! the game is bigger than just you guys

  4. rainyday56 - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    So. … in view of the fact EV Zug trounced the Rangers last fall. … if the Rangers win the cup, will that make Zug world champions?

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