More drama but still no deal for NHL

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Cheers and Jeers,Brian McNally

The drama continues in the ongoing labor negotiations between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association. But did the league take a misstep when, according to an internal memo obtained by Yahoo! Sports, it allowed its general managers -- previously barred from any contact with players -- to take questions from those same players last weekend on the NHL's last CBA proposal? That's a sly way of getting its message past NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, but also a gambit likely to anger the very man it needs to negotiate with.

There are just days left before the NHL's own deadline for holding a short training camp and starting a full 82-game season on Nov. 2 is blown. But in the end, a deal will get done because the two sides are too close to see another lost season. Some version of expanded revenue sharing by the owners among themselves and a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue -- however that is defined -- will be ratified. The bigger question is how long will it take to get there and what damage will have been done to the sport?

- Brian McNally

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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