NHL cancels rest of exhibition season due to lockout

It’s hardly a stunner given the way negotiations have failed to progress.

Here’s the official statement from the league: “The National Hockey League announced
today the cancellation of the remainder of the 2012 preseason schedule. The cancellation of the preseason schedule was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.”

The move puts opening night in serious jeopardy.

Heck, Kings fans waited 45 years for a Stanley Cup. Guess they can wait a while longer for the championship banner ceremony at Staples Center. The Kings are still scheduled to open the 2012-13 season Oct. 12 against the New York Rangers.

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Kings’ Anze Kopitar next to sign to play in Europe during the NHL lockout?

Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils and Sergei Gonchar of the Ottawa Senators have already signed to play overseas during the NHL lockout.

Anze Kopitar of the Stanley Cup champion Kings reportedly is set to join them soon. Kopitar would join his brother, Gasper, with Mora IK, a Swedish club team, The Los Angeles Times first reported Kopitar is close to an agreement with the team. Kopitar played in Sweden after leaving his native Slovenia when he was only 16.

Malkin, Kovalchuk and Gonchar have signed to play in Russia’s KHL.

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You have questions about your Kings tickets and the NHL lockout, we have answers

Got word from the Kings on a couple of policies involving tickets and the NHL lockout in case games are actually cancelled, and it sure looks like things are moving in that direction.

A Kings spokesman said Monday they have suspended any current automatic payment plans for tickets. He also said for any ticket holders who want to wait out the lockout and let the team hold onto their initial payments, the Kings will provide 5 percent interest on payments calculated from the value of any cancelled games.

Also, for anyone who wishes to get an immediate refund on cancelled games, the Kings will do it and provide 1 percent interest on the principle paid. The interest will be calculated from the point at which a particular game is cancelled to the last day of the month of the cancelled game.

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NHL’s lockout message to fans

In case you missed it, here’s what the NHL put on its website Sunday, the first full day of the lockout:

“Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the Players and to the 30 NHL teams.

“Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA, competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular season in pro sports; a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year; fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best, and the League has generated remarkable growth and momentum. While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change in the League’s economic system, and produced corresponding on-ice benefits, our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division of revenues with the Players — as well as other necessary adjustments consistent with the objectives of the economic system we developed jointly with the NHL Players’ Association seven years ago. Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation — not through rhetoric.

“This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room. The League, the Clubs and the Players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans.”

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