The National Hockey League's (NHL) lockout took its latest toll as the league said on Thursday the entire preseason schedule has been canceled given the absence of a labor agreement that threatens the entire 2012-13 campaign.
The NHL, which last week canceled the opening week of the preseason, said in a statement that scrapping the October 1-8 slate of exhibition games, the second and final week of preseason, was necessary without a collective bargaining agreement with locked-out players.
The announcement came one day before the league and the union representing its players are set to resume formal negotiations on Friday in New York. The session is the first since the work stoppage began 12 days ago.
The league-wide lockout was imposed when the previous labor agreement expired with the owners and players at odds over how to divide a $3.3 billion revenue pie.
The work stoppage is the first in the NHL since a lockout wiped out the entire 2004-05 campaign.
The upcoming season, scheduled to begin October 11, could see the same fate as the two sides remain at a stalemate over key economic issues.
The NHL, which enjoyed record-breaking revenues last season, is looking to cut the players' share of revenue while players are against taking an immediate, absolute salary reduction.