NEW YORK — The NHL could be one step away from canceling another hockey season because of a labor fight with the players.
In the latest round of cancellations, the NHL on Thursday wiped out all games through Jan. 14. More than 50 percent of the schedule has been lost, and the rest is now in great danger, too.
"I don't want to characterize what today's cancellations mean or don't mean," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press in an email. "I will stand on the announcement that was made."
So far, 625 regular-season games have been called off, including nearly 100 in the announcement made Thursday — the 96th day of the NHL's lockout. The New Year's Day Winter Classic and the All-Star game also have been lost.
The NHL had previously canceled games through Dec. 30.
Daly said in a radio interview Wednesday that mid-January is likely the latest the sides could go to make a deal to save the season. When pressed, however, he said he expects the season will be played.
No drop-dead date has been announced by the NHL, which is the only North American professional sports league to cancel a season because of to a labor dispute. The 2004-05 season was lost to a lockout.
Daly said the sides hadn't been in contact with each other Thursday, and no new talks are planned.