In another indication that the NHL season is in jeopardy, league officials extended the time frame to free up arenas from 30 to 45 days, which all but cancels games through Dec. 2.
The league sent a memo to its 30 teams informing them that the "date rollback" was expanded to allow replacement events to be booked into arenas.
"With the absence of any indication from the union that it has interest in engaging in talks anytime soon, we felt it made sense to provide clubs with more flexibility in scheduling options," said Bill Daly, the NHL's chief counsel.
Daly said the rollback date was subject to modification at any time."
The NHL and the NHL players' association haven't met or spoken since a negotiating session in Toronto on Sept. 9.