At least the NHL season didn't end the day before the Mayans predicted everything else would.
But there was another round of announced cancellations Thursday that brings the league one step closer to having a second season wiped out in eight years due to a labor dispute.
The NHL announced all games through Jan. 14 have been eliminated. With 625 games now having been wiped off the schedule — 50.8 percent of the season — the next round of cancellations could mean the entire season will be eliminated. The league has been in a lockout since the collective bargaining agreement expired Sept. 16.
For the Lightning, games lost through Jan. 14 wipes out 39 of the scheduled 82 games on their schedule. But if they do play this season, the schedule would have to be revised to accommodate the shortened season.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said during a radio interview Wednesday with "Hockey Night in Canada" that the drop-dead time to have an agreement in place and to start playing games in a shortened season would be mid-January. That only leaves a few weeks for both sides to come together in an attempt to reach an agreement on a new deal.
There have been no formal face-to-face negotiating sessions since Dec. 6 and none are currently planned. The two sides have held only two brief phone conversations during the past week, according to several reports.
Meanwhile, the NHL Players' Association was expected to finish up voting Thursday whether to grant the power of the executive board to file a disclaimer of interest, which could be the first step in attempting to dissolve the union. Those results could be announced today.