As the lockout drags into the holiday season, the league officially shelves more games.
At this point of the lockout, it's not really groundbreaking that the league continues to cancel games. After all, if there is a season to be saved, all the games will have to be rescheduled anyway since simply playing the final 48-or-so games of an 82-game schedule is the height of absurdity.
Though I guess with this league, that might fit right in.
Regardless, the NHL went back to its chopping of the calendar again Thursday, officially cancelling all games through January 14. Many have speculated that this is the final round of two-week cancellations before the season is axed, but the league isn't biting on that in public just yet.
"I don't want to characterize what today's cancellations mean or don't mean," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press in an email. "I will stand on the announcement that was made."
As the article points out, there should be a bit of clarity on the next steps today as the PA finalizes its voting on filing a "disclaimer of interest," raising the possibility that this whole mess could eventually be settled in court.
There's also an eye-roll-worthy war of words between Don Fehr and Bill Daly in the article, where Fehr accuses the NHL of trying to "pre-set conditions for negotiations" and Daly basically says the NHL wants a set agenda rather than an open-ended bargaining session. Lovely. Season of peace and all.
- While some of the Dallas Stars headed overseas to ply their trade in Europe during the lockout, Brenden Morrow has stayed home for family time and core work. And while that's all nice, I remain slightly concerned that he doesn't call himself completely healed from his neck/back issue. [DallasNews.com]
- If you're looking for some compelling hockey over the holiday break and you have access to NHL Network, you can watch all of Team USA's games in the World Junior Championships. Feel free to covet Seth Jones if you get the chance. [SB Nation]
- And it's time for the annual Canadian panic over the tournament, as their boys lost a warm-up game to Finland 3-2 after they spent way too much time in the penalty box. On a sad note for Stars fans, Brett Ritchie left the game early with the always-nebulous upper-body injury. The injury apparently isn't considered serious, but anything that might slow his tremendous roll does make you sit up and take notice. [CBC.ca]
- I've admitting this before, but the WJCs just really aren't my thing. But Katie Baker over at Grantland makes a very good case for why they're something special while also noting the parts of them that are definitely overblown. [Granland]
- The WCJs are in Europe again this year, which means Olympic-sized ice. But what does that actually do to the tactics of the game, particularly on the power play? [Backhand Shelf]
- Also, if you get a chance, read through Baker's latest mailbag. It's depressing, informative and hysterical at the same time. [Grantland]
- Puck Daddy has been running their top 10s of the year, and it's no surprise that they limited the entries on their absurd list to just those from the lockout. I'm just sad Ryane Clowe and his playing the puck from the bench bit don't get more love. [Puck Daddy]
- With the end of the world scheduled for some time this afternoon (which time zone is yet to be determined), Todd has gone ahead and put together your primer for post-apocalyptic hockey. Thunderdome not included. [Thursday Morning Cupcheck]
- Before I get to the video, I wanted to say happy holidays to all of y'all from us here at DBD. We appreciate all of you guys sticking around despite the idiocy from the league and PA brass. Stay warm, stay safe and enjoy your time with friends and family as we roll over into lucky '13.
- So I was going to find a nice holiday-themed hockey video for you guys since there won't be any links next Tuesday (give a girl a break - Christmas Eve isn't the time to be scouring the internet for hockey stories). But this behind-the-scenes video with Matt Fraser won out because a.) it features the Texas Stars in their snazzy bowling shirts and b.) you get the always fun, profanity-filled reaction from a player when he takes a puck... somewhere sensitive.