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Players accept meeting, the inevitable next?

Updated: January 24, 2005, 9:26 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | Special to ESPN.com

After back-to-back informal meetings with the NHL last week, players' association president Trevor Linden told players to be prepared for the lockout to last well into next season. "Discouraged" and "saddened" were the words Linden used when describing his feelings to reporters.

Was Linden telling the truth and genuinely frustrated? Or was the advice and disclosure a carefully designed ploy to reinforce the players' resolve?

The answer is immaterial.

Just three days later, in ...

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