NHL cancels full preseason

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has been heavily criticized during the NHL lockout. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Without any formal bargaining sessions having taken place in the nearly two weeks since the NHL officially locked out its players on Sept. 15, the league formally announced the cancellation of all remaining preseason games.

No hockey will be played until Oct. 11 at the earliest.

Previously, the league canceled all preseason games up until the beginning of October. On Thursday, all remaining games were axed, including:

Mon. Oct. 1 vs. New Jersey
Tues. Oct. 2 at Toronto
Fri. Oct. 5 at New Jersey
Sat. Oct. 6 at Chicago

The Flyers are still tentatively scheduled to open their season on Oct. 11 in a nationally televised game against the Bruins. That game seems to have a snowball’s chance in hell of happening at this point.

The league is expected to formally begin canceling regular season games next week.

The Phantoms - including young NHLers Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Zac Rinaldo, Erik Gustafsson, Brandon Manning and Harry Zolnierczyk - open training camp on Saturday at the Voorhees, N.J., Skate Zone under new head coach Terry Murray. They will be in town for a little more than a week before shipping up to Glens Falls, N.Y., to open training camp.

The NHL and NHL Players’ Association are scheduled to begin three days of bargaining talks on Friday in New York, though they are not slated to include negotiating on the only topic that has stalled talks so far: How to split the league’s growing $3.3 billion revenue between players and owners. Instead, the two sides will speak about non-core issues like player health and safety, concussion issues, etc.

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers