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Thursday, February 17, 2005; Page D07

Q: When will the NHL play again?

Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league will turn its attention to the 2005-06 season and "will explore all our options" to make that happen. The preseason and regular season schedule will be announced in July.

_____ From The Post _____
Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky take part in six-hour meeting between NHL and players' union but no deal is reached.
Commissioner Gary Bettman officially cancels the NHL season.
There is speculation about where the league goes from here and whether it can survive.
Michael Wilbon: There's no question the league and its owners won this particular battle.
The cancellation may work to the Capitals' advantage in time.
Q&A: What's next?

_____ On Our Site _____
Audio: The Post's Thomas Heath discusses the end of the season.
Video: Bettman announces the cancellation of the season.
What's Your Opinion?

_____ Lockout At a Glance _____
NO SEASON: The NHL season was canceled Feb. 16 over a lockout that started before training camps opened last September. It's the first major North American sport to lose an entire season to a labor dispute.
THE REASON: The NHL and the players' association couldn't resolve how to split revenues from the $2 billion industry. The league demanded a salary cap, but by the time the players agreed to that, it was too late to work out how much the cap would be.
WHAT'S NEXT?: The NHL could seek the declaration of an impasse, which allowing it to implement its last offer, open training camps in September and invite players back. The players' association would likely respond with a strike.

_____NHL Basics_____
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NHL Section

Q: Does that mean the league will implement a new economic system and open with replacement players?

The league said it will continue to negotiate with the union, but that playing with replacements "is certainly an option that the league and the clubs will have to consider at an appropriate time."

Q: What happens to players who have remaining years on contracts?

That will be a matter determined in collective bargaining. Players are not paid during the lockout.

Q: Will there be a draft this June?

In the absence of a collective bargaining agreement, a draft will not be held. The rights of players eligible for the draft this year will be determined by the bargaining process.

Q: Will the players playing in Europe ever return?

About 350 NHL players are playing in Europe. How many come back to the NHL likely will depend on how much a new agreement will allow them to make.

Q: Will the NHL contract teams?

The league says that is not an option, but no team is generating any revenue until the game is played again.

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