No progress in talks between NHL players and owners on a new collective bargaining agreement just turned counterproductive, with the league cancelling the first part of the 2012-13 regular season on Thursday.

The alert level on whether games will be played at all this season has been heightened now that owners have cancelled all regular season games through Oct. 24.

As announced back in June, the Capitals were initially scheduled to open their season at Verizon Center on Friday, Oct. 12 against the defending Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils.

The last time the NHL and its players’ association reached such an impasse in dialogue was 2004-05, when similar unproductive meetings led to the demise of the entire season.

Fans can expect a lingering lockout to become increasingly more imminent, as each day removed from talks of a new labor agreement brings the league that much closer to cancelling more games.

Unfortunately, what’s best for the fans isn’t always best for all parties involved in the game, as recent NFL and NBA lockouts proved.

With NHL stars like Alex Ovechkin playing games overseas and threatening to stay, this league could face future sustainability issues in maintaining the product fans knew if progress isn’t sparked soon.


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