The league will cancel the Winter Classic and the All-Star Game in an announcement on Monday, according to ESPN’s John Buccigross. It was previously reported that the NHL was cancelling all games scheduled through the end of November, but it appears that commissioner Gary Bettman‘s latest round of cuts will be more far-reaching.
The Winter Classic was scheduled to be at Michigan Stadium between the Maple Leafs and Red Wings, with a crowd of 100,000 expected to be on hand for the New Year’s Day game. The All-Star Game was scheduled for Jan. 27 in Columbus, Ohio.
While these reported cancellations are by no means positive news for fans of the NHL, they should not be seen as an indication that the league is necessarily cancelling all games up to those points. They could simply be clearing space on the schedule to squeeze in more games for a shortened season.
A previous report by the Toronto Star suggested that the league might cancel the Winter Classic as early as November in order to negate player leverage in negotiating talks. It appears that Bettman and the owners will not be waiting that long.