The NHL surprised no one today. With negotiations still at a standstill and no end to the lockout imminent, the league has wiped out another portion of its schedule.
The NHL has canceled all games through Dec. 30, a two-week chunk added to the previous cancellations that extend through Friday. By leaving Dec. 31 available, it's technically possibly the league could have a 2012-13 season rather than just a 2013 shortened season.
The Buffalo Sabres lost eight more games with today's announcement, including their traditional holiday sellout and a West Coast road trip. The Sabres were scheduled to host Montreal on Saturday and Washington on Dec. 26. Buffalo was supposed to visit Montreal (next Monday), Edmonton (Dec. 20), Calgary (Dec. 22), Colorado (Dec. 23), Minnesota (Dec. 28) and Winnipeg (Dec. 29).
Combined with the prior cancellations, the Sabres have had 35 of their 82 games wiped out.
The NHL would like to hold a seven-day training camp prior to the start of the season, so the league and the NHL Players' Association need a collective bargaining agreement in place by Christmas Eve in order to avoid more cancellations.