The battle between the NHL and the locked-out NHL Players Association continued Thursday as the league announced the remaining preseason games have been canceled.
Negotiiations between the two sides are set to resume in New York on Friday and go on through the weekend to try to salvage the season which is scheduled to begin October 11.
September's preseason games had been canceled by the NHL two weeks ago after owners locked out the players when the collective bargaining agreement expired.
At stake is to how to divvy up $3.3 billion in annual revenue the NHL receives. The players were receiving 57 percent and the owners would like them to accept between 49 and 47 percent. The owners originally proposed that the players take 43 percent.
''Obviously, we've got to talk before you can get a deal, so I think it's important to get the talks going again,'' NHL Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Associated Press on Monday. ''But you also have to have something to say. I think it's fair to say we feel like we need to hear from the players' association in a meaningful way because I don't think that they've really moved off their initial proposal, which was made more than a month ago now.''
This is the fourth lockout since 1992. The last time the NHL and the NHLPA squared off in this battle was in 2004 and it took three months for both sides to resume bargaining after the initial lockout.
"We are pleased the league is willing to come back to the bargaining table, and we look forward to Friday's discussions," NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr told the AP.