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Capitals Convention axed in light of NHL labor uncertainty

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Fans watch a scrimmage during the Washington Capitals' development camp at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Monday, July 9, 2012. (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times) Fans watch a scrimmage during the Washington Capitals' development camp at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Monday, July 9, 2012. (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times)

It’s not the cancellation of a regular-season or even preseason game, but the Washington Capitals officially announced Monday that there will be no Capitals Convention this fall because of the uncertain NHL labor situation.

The team released a statement that reads:

“The Capitals Convention has been a tremendous success in its first three years, attracting sold-out crowds of more than 6,500 fans to the day-long interactive celebration of the Washington Capitals. This annually features the entire Capitals roster and prominent alumni from around the world. In the past the Caps Convention has been held in late September or early October. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the collective bargaining agreement the Capitals have decided not to hold a convention in 2012, but the event will return in the fall of 2013.”

While the lack of a convention isn’t disastrous by any means, it could speak to the general buzz around the league that a work stoppage is coming. RDS first reported the owners’ initial offer last week that includes a cut in players’ share of revenue from 57 to 46 percent, shorter contracts and more years until unrestricted free agency.

It’s only July, but that was regarded as a tough start to the negotiations. The current CBA expires Sept. 15, and the Capitals Convention could be just the first of many events to be scratched off the calendar if an agreement is not reached by then.

Around the Caps, the Baltimore Hockey Classic, slated for Sept. 26, could be the next major thing that gets axed if the situation is looking dire by September.

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