(CNN) -- The National Hockey League has canceled preseason games through September 30, citing the lack of a labor agreement, the league announced Wednesday.
The schedule was to begin Sunday, but the NHL said, "The cancellation of the schedule was necessary because of the absence of a collective bargaining agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL."
In all, 61 games were canceled, including an October 3 game scheduled for Belleville, Ontario. The league said festivities for the special game will still go on as planned.
The last time the NHL canceled preseason games was in 2004, which preceded a yearlong lockout of the players by the owners.
The regular season is scheduled to begin October 11.