NHL, Panthers Cancel All Remaining 2012 Preseason Games

Bruce Bennett - Getty Images

Final three exhibition matches, all against Southeast rival Tampa Bay, have been shelved as league and union close in on third week without new CBA.

A Thursday press release from the club says very little, but not much else is really necessary as this nastiness drags on:

The Florida Panthers in conjunction with the National Hockey League announced today that the remainder of the club’s preseason games have been cancelled. The cancellation includes Florida’s games against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, Oct 2 (at Estero, FL), the club’s road preseason game on Thursday Oct. 4 (at Tampa Bay) and the team’s home preseason game on Saturday, Oct. 6 (vs. Tampa Bay).

The cancellation of the schedule was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.

And there you have it. In addition to already losing earlier games prior to September 30 (a doubleheader vs Nashville among them), the entire Training Camp is now officially kaput. Care to guess how active the sales department's phone bank might be over at One Panther Parkway after such an announcement? Gotta feel for those poor souls; reps caught smack in the middle of an issue over which they have no control. Quite a few folks at Saveology Iceplex in Coral Springs feeling some mighty high heat right about now as well; during a traditional "boom" period, re: hosting Camp, there's not much reason to be smiling this fall.

On a somewhat more positive note - relatively speaking - the NHL and NHLPA have reportedly "blocked off Friday, Saturday and Sunday for [new] meetings", according to the Canadian Press, so instead of practices and games throughout the weekend fans can focus on a grand new pastime: reloading Bob McKenzie's Twitter feed. All the fun of Trade Deadline Day, again and again and again...

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