The entire NHL exhibition season became a casualty of the continuing lockout Thursday as the league canceled the remaining preseason contests.
In the announcement, the league said: "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 lockout is in its second full week after the owners barred the doors Sept. 15. The NHL first canceled exhibition games through Sept. 30 with a Sept. 19 announcement, costing the Chicago Blackhawks four of their six scheduled games. On Thursday, the final two -- Oct. 5 against the Penguins in Pittsburgh and Oct. 6 against the Flyers at the United Center -- were axed.
As of now, the regular-season slate has not been affected and the Hawks are scheduled to begin Oct. 13 against the Blue Jackets at home.
The league and NHL Players' Association are scheduled to reopen negotiations Friday in New York with discussions on non-core economic issues.
"I have faith in our union and I’m hoping something can get done," Hawks veteran Patrick Sharp said.
A source said if Friday's negotiations go well, it may result in more meetings this weekend.
NHL cancels remaining preseason games
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