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Lightning Offseason 2012: NHL Lockout Wipes Out Preseason Games Through Sept. 30

The National Hockey League cancelled all preseason games through Sep. 30 on Wednesday as a result of the current lockout. This is the first set of games affected by the labor dispute between players and owners. All games after Sep. 30 remain on the schedule for now. In addition, the Kraft-Hockeyville game scheduled for Oct. 3 in Belleville, Ontario has been postponed.

The lockout is currently in its fourth day after players and owners failed to reach a collective bargaining agreement by Sep. 15. A number of prominent players, including Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have signed deals to play in other countries while the lockout continues. Ovechkin, who has signed to play with the KHL's Dynamo Moscow, told the Washington Post today that he would consider staying in Russia if the new collective bargaining agreement significantly slashed player salaries.

"As to the future, it will depend on what kind of conditions there will be in the NHL with the new CBA," Ovechkin said. "If our contracts get slashed, I will have to think whether to return there or not. I won't rule out staying in the KHL, even past this season."

For more on the NHL Lockout and how it relates to the Tampa Bay Lightning, check out Raw Charge and Hockey Hub..

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.