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Time flies as NHL nears lockout

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NHL,Capitals,Brian McNally

Not to interrupt your quickly fading summer, but this news affects your winter entertainment. NHL owners and the NHL Players' Association are meeting this week in New York to prevent an expected Sept. 15 lockout. That's when the old collective bargaining agreement expires and when players will be barred from team facilities until a new one is signed. As we saw last year with the NFL and NBA, these things always go to the last minute.

The NHL's initial offer last month was difficult for the players to swallow -- a reported cut in revenues from 57 percent to 46 percent. Donald Fehr, former head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, appears to have the players far more unified than they were in 2004-05 when a lockout cost the league an entire season.

The owners tweaked their first offer in a bargaining session on Tuesday and players will review and respond in kind on Wednesday, Fehr told reporters. But the gap between the two sides is large and time is running out. Capitals players are already filtering into town for training camp, which begins in a little more than two weeks.

- Brian McNally

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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