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NHL cancels games through Nov. 1

Gary Bettman speaks to the media at a press conference, and than walks away with owners and  Bill...

Gary Bettman speaks to the media at a press conference, and than walks away with owners and Bill Daly , the Deputy Commissioner of the NHL, late this afternoon Talks were halted with the NHLPA, and Bettman announced how he was extremely disapponted. (QMI Agency/STAN BEHAL)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:56 PM ET

TORONTO - The NHL took the knife to its schedule again Friday.

This time, the league officially cancelled 53 games through Nov. 1, with no collective bargaining agreement in place and a Thursday deadline to get a deal done to open an 82-game season Nov. 2.

While this chop was expected, the one anticipated for late next week could be much larger in scale. And D-Day for the Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Jan. 1 is coming up.

Nov. 20 is the drop-dead date for the league to decide whether it will be able to hold the game at the 100,000-seat Michigan Stadium because of the financial commitment and logistics, a report on M-Live.com Friday said.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said the clock is ticking.

"The issue is it takes a lot of time and it takes the commitment of a lot of money in order to put on the Winter Classic,'' Bettman said Thursday. "We're going to have to go back and revisit, but my understanding is at some point in the not too distant future we will have to commit many millions of dollars if we're going to play the Winter Classic on Jan. 1.

"Obviously, under these circumstances and all the uncertainty, we're not going to commit many millions of dollars if we don't think we're going to have a (CBA). And so the Winter Classic time frame in terms of making that decision is probably rapidly approaching.

"That's a discussion I'm going to have to have internally to see when those commitments actually have to be made.''

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @sungarrioch


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