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December 12, 2012 | 10:01am ET
Cleary points out "expiry date"

According to Red Wings forward Dan Cleary, the NHL season has an drop-dead date, he told the Detroit News on Monday.

Cleary, 33, who has been quite vocal since the start of the lockout, believes that the entire 2012-13 season will be cancelled if no agreement is reached before Jan. 15.

"If nothing is going on by Jan. 15, that would be for me an end-all. It has to be," Cleary told the News. "I know they canceled Feb. 16 last time, but it's not fathomable to have a season at that point. You can't have a 35-game season.”

In 2004-05, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman cancelled the full season on Feb. 16.

Now on the 88th day of the lockout, and with the League cancelling games through Dec. 30, a deadline is fast approaching, although no drop-dead date for getting a meaningful season in has yet to be announced.

"When it gets to the point where we can't play a season with integrity, then we'll be done," Bettman said last week. "If you go back in history, in 1994-95 (when a deal was reached Jan. 12), I think we played 48 games. I can't imagine wanting to play fewer than that."

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