Well, today is the day many of us have been dreading for some time. With no progress being made in talks between the league and union, it would seem the earliest we will have NHL hockey is November and even that is looking pretty iffy as of right now, as the league has cancelled all scheduled games through the 24th of October.
My feeling all along has been that this will get settled sometime next month or in the early part of December and that we'd have the regular season start up before the end of 2012, but now I'm not so sure. With both sides digging in and refusing to negotiate the main issue it's getting harder and harder to stay optimistic. Right now, best case, we seem on course for a shortened season of about 60 or so games, somewhat resembling what we saw in 1994-95 with the potential count of regular season games shrinking as time ticks away. It would be a long, boring winter with no NHL, so hopefully, the next time both sides get together it will be for more than two hours and some sort of common ground can be forged and the season ultimately salvaged.
The Panthers' Official Site has been updated to reflect the revised schedule, displaying Thursday, October 25 as the season-opener in Winnipeg, and Monday, October 29 vs. Columbus being the first home date, neither of which is likely to hold if an agreement is reached beforehand.