Hopes of ending the National Hockey League's continuing strike before the holidays have faded after the shutout reached its 100th day with no sign of resolution.
Monday marked the 100th day since the league shutout players over money issues - with no talks planned to end the dispute between owners and players representatives.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly admitted at the weekend that he did not know if any talks would take place before the holiday, after the failure of the last round of discussions nearly a two weeks ago.
With all fixtures cancelled until January 14, the prospect of a shortened season starting in 2013 looks remote. Team owners have said they would not stage a season with less than 48 games per team - meaning the row would need to be resolved by mid-January.
The last lockout, eight years ago, wiped out the whole of the 2004-2005 season.
The dispute, over how to share $3.3bn (Dh12.1bn) revenue,
Players have approved decertifying the NHL Players Association as a union to allow players to file US antitrust lawsuits against NHL club owners, although that move has not yet been made.
In prior NBA and National Football League squabbles over money, decertifying was used as a leverage move by players to help push a compromise deal rather than have both sides undergo a lengthy court fight.
"I'm not an expert on collective bargaining but there is not going to be a deal done until we're sitting across the table from each other," said Joffrey Lupul, the Toronto Maple Leafs forward.
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