NHL Lockout: Games Will Be Canceled Through December 30

The NHL lockout is set to wipe out the rest of games for nearly all of 2012.

As ESPN New York reported, the league is ready to announce that all games through December 30 will be canceled. There have already been 422 regular season games lost because of the lockout, and another 104 more will be gone with the latest announcement. Aside from the regular season games, the NHL has also already canceled two of its crowning jewels — the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day and the All-Star Game.

The latest announcement comes less than a week after it appeared a breakthrough was headed for the NHL lockout. The league and NHL Players Associate appeared to be close to a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement, but the league reportedly pulled its proposal off the table when players wouldn’t agree to key demands — five-year contract term limits, a 10-year CBA, and compliance on the transition rules.

Even though the NHL has now called off the rest of games for 2012, a season is still possible, the Newark Star-Ledger reported. The sides are growing ever closer in their negotiations and have begun exchanging proposals, and despite Thursday’s setback remain committed to coming to a conclusion. The league has also played a shortened schedule before, going with 48 games in 1994 after a lockout canceled games through January 20 of that year.

USA Today‘s Kevin Allen provided also believes the NHL lockout will end soon, saying that there is too much at stake if the entire season is lost, and players and owners are closing the gap in negotiations.