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An empty Staples Center on nights scheduled for hockey could be a common occurrence as the NHL lockout continues.
Friday was indeed dark for the National Hockey League. It announced that, because of the continuing player lockout, it's have canceled the All-Star game and games through December 14.
"The reality of losing more regular season games as well as the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus is extremely disappointing," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. "We feel badly for NHL fans and particularly those in Columbus, and we intend to work closely with the Blue Jackets organization to return the NHL All-Star events to Columbus and their fans as quickly as possible."
Blue Jackets President Mike Priest said in a statement, "the Blue Jackets are very disappointed for our fans that All-Star festivities will not be coming to our great city in January."
The NHL and the hockey players union have yet to agree on a new collective bargaining deal in which each side would split over $3 billion in annual revenue.
"[NHL Commissioner Gary] Bettman said that the league is losing $18-$20 million per day during the lockout, therefore two more weeks of canceled games far exceeds the current economic gap," NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr said in a statement.
"It makes the NHL's announcement of further game cancellations, including the 2013 All-Star Weekend, all the more unnecessary, and disappointing for all hockey fans," Fehr said.
Originally scheduled to start on October 11, the dispute has now affected 34 percent of the season and has wiped out the wildly popular open-air Winter Classic game that was to take place in Michigan Stadium.