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Can NHL hang on in the U.S.?

Updated: September 15, 2004, 2:20 AM ET
By Scott Burnside | Special to ESPN.com

TORONTO -- Long after the Finns had departed the ice, replaced by a throng of television cameras and the hopelessly odd looking World Cup of Hockey trophy, three Tampa Lightning teammates gathered for a picture along the boards, delirious Canadian fans waving flags in the background.

Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis, sharing in celebration just as they were in Tampa in early June when they led the Lightning to their first Stanley Cup championship.

And then they ...

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