Skip to content

Detroit’s Cleary: Jan. 15 “end-all” date to save NHL season

Dec 11, 2012, 4:52 PM EDT

Danny Cleary Getty Images

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.

(Click here for the CBC’s timeline)

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.”


Owners and players tentatively set to meet again on Wednesday (Update: It’s official)

Welcome back to the party, mediators

Wild’s Yeo meets with NBA coach for shortened season advice

  1. ewoods6 - Dec 11, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    He and the commish are not on the same page but then again…..well, you know.

    • stakex - Dec 11, 2012 at 6:27 PM

      Actually they are. Cleary says Jan. 15 is the drop dead date… and Bettman says the NHL won’t play less then 48 games.

      In 1995 there was a 48 game season that started on Jan 20th. So the two are on almost exactlly the same page. The season has to start by the third week of January or there won’t be one.

      • blomfeld - Dec 12, 2012 at 2:43 AM

        Stakex – I would contend that anything after January 1st is a “no” go. I know they pulled off 48 x games back in ’95, but that was almost twenty years ago man ! Things just aren’t the same today, given the far greater complexities of business today, the faster-paced nature of play, the exponentially greater level of competition for “discretionary” spending”, etc … and so they won’t be able to simply “compress” the schedule the same way they did back then. No, I truly believe that they just have to get it done “now” this week (12/12/12) or else it’s going to probably be sadly over.

  2. dinklespiel - Dec 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    A 48 game season is like saying bagging a two-point buck is a trophy buck.

    Why bother?

  3. wsphloyd - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Get FIRE BETTMAN T-Shirts and more at:

    It’s time to get rid of the mental midget commissioner!

    • blomfeld - Dec 12, 2012 at 2:47 AM

      Get your “12-12-12” t-shirts and more at:

  4. cardsandbluesforever - Dec 12, 2012 at 7:33 AM

    My birthday is Jan. 12. every year i treat myself to the best seats i can get my hands on for the next Blues home game. C’mon guys don’t ruin my birthday!

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1724)
  2. P. Kessel (1491)
  3. M. Richards (1255)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1086)
  5. N. Backstrom (1065)