For fans of the Blackhawks and the NHL, what took place Friday night at Allstate Arena will have to serve as their hockey fix for a while.
On the same day the “Champs for Charity” exhibition was taking place in Rosemont, the league canceled all scheduled games through November due to the lockout.
That brings the total to 326 games wiped out — or 26.5 percent of the schedule. The league has now canceled all games scheduled from Oct. 11 through Nov. 30.
“The National Hockey League deeply regrets having to take this action,” said deputy commissioner Bill Daly in a statement.
Yeah, sure, was the reaction of most players.
“More than anything, it seems like more of a scare tactic to us,” Hawks winger Patrick Kane said. “We knew it was coming.”
Hawks captain Jonathan Toews has been most outspoken about the actions that have taken place from the league.
“There’s not much more you can say,” Toews said. “I think I’ve pretty much expressed how I felt about this whole process and how the league has gone about it. We’re still going down that road that they’re going to keep exercising that power that they have of locking us out and canceling games to try and sway us their way.”
That makes 22 Hawks games canceled through November, including the annual circus trip, a six-gamer that was to run from Nov. 14-23.
It’s unfortunate the NHL made the announcement to cancel the November schedule on the same day of the “Champs for Charity” game, which featured many of the 2010 Stanley Cup-winning Hawks against a group of all-stars to benefit Ronald McDonald House charities.
A crowd of 11,649 watched the Hawks lose 16-15 to the World Stars in a shootout.
Daniel Carcillo scored the winning goal for the World when he stopped in front of goalie Craig Anderson and fired in the puck.
“He stole my move,” said Kane, who had tied the game with 1:42 left in regulation.
“I did steal his move,” Carcillo said. “I always knew I could do it. I never had the confidence to try it.”
Then there was Carcillo riding his stick like a horse and taunting the Hawks’ bench.
“It’s all for the fans, you know?” Carcillo said. “You might as well whoop it up a bit and have some fun. They frown upon that in the real season.”
Kane, the game’s MVP, said it was great to play in front of the Chicago fans again.
“It’s been awhile,” Kane said. “The summer seemed long enough, especially going out in the first round. Just feeling the puck on your stick and trying to score a goal.
“A lot of guys came in just for this event, guys coming in from all over the country and a couple guys from Finland. It just goes to show how true hockey players are, really good people who care about stuff like this.”
Players Association executive director Donald Fehr attended the game and said the league canceling November was expected.
“Nothing they’ve done over the past several weeks is very much of a surprise,” Fehr said. “One thing sort of follows another. It’s a shame, I think. Hopefully we’ll get down to serious negotiations one of these days, but we’re not there yet.
“The league’s position is essentially, we got billions of dollars from the players last time and we had nothing but record revenues, so let’s try to go get another billion or two.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.