The NHL canceled its fifth set of regular-season games Monday, axing all contests through Dec. 30. A total of 526 games -- 42.8 percent of the season -- have now been lost.
The latest round of cancellations come just days after talks between the league and the NHL Players' Association exploded Thursday. According to reports, the two sides did make contact over the weekend and they hope to meet this week, though time and location has yet to be determined.
Speaking of time, it is of the essence as the NHL inches closer to its second cancelled season within the last 10 years; the 2004-05 season remains -- as of now -- the only season in North American professional sports history to be completely lost because of labor unrest. Commissioner Gary Bettman insinuated in his press conference Thursday that a 48-game schedule would be the smallest he would allow.
"I can’t imagine wanting to play fewer than that," he said.
As a point of reference, the 1994-95 lockout was settled Jan. 11, 1995, allowing for a truncated 48-game schedule.
Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.