Dec 11, 2012, 4:52 PM EDT
Dan Cleary has been one of the NHLPA’s most outspoken members during the lockout, so it came as no surprise when he answered the burning question regarding the work stoppage — what date is the point of no return for the NHL season?
“If nothing is going on by Jan. 15, that would be for me an end-all. It has to be,” Cleary told the Detroit News. “I know they canceled Feb. 16 last time, but it’s not fathomable to have a season at that point.
“You can’t have a 35-game season.”
As Cleary alludes to, there was a last-ditch effort during the 2004-05 lockout to try and salvage the season before NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made it official on Feb. 16.
This time around, though, lines have been drawn regarding drop-dead dates. Following Thursday’s negotiations in New York, Bettman made it clear he and the league also have a timeline in mind.
“When it gets to the point where we can’t play a season with integrity, then we’ll be done,” he said. “If you go back in history, in 1994-95, I think we played 48 games.
“I can’t imagine wanting to play fewer than that.”
- Big money: Tarasenko signs eight-year, $60 million extension with Blues 75
- Blackhawks extend TVR through 2017-18 3
- Good start: McDavid scores five in Oilers scrimmage 33
- Caps ink Kuznetsov to two-year, $6 million extension 9
- Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio 12
- Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’ 15
- No expansion bid expected from Kansas City 37
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 17
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 12
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 15
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Expansion process underway as NHL sends out applications (94)
- Big money: Tarasenko signs eight-year, $60 million extension with Blues (75)
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 (74)
- Trade: Caps acquire Oshie from Blues for Brouwer, Copley and draft pick (73)