Officially this latest action only takes off the Winter Classic - the other fixtures from 1st December onward still officially remain scheduled (although I'll agree that the long-term prognosis for salvaging the 12-13 season doesn't look good).
the owners have made another offer. makes sense. the dynamic has changed with the winter classic canceled. the players leverage has decreased. get another offer out there and see if these guys want to start getting paid and stop jerking around.
if the gap before was small/moderate, it has just become a little smaller. players scope of an acceptable deal has widened and the owners just came a little closer