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Season's end a mere formality

Updated: February 11, 2005, 12:27 AM ET
By Scott Burnside | Special to ESPN.com

Sometime in the next few days, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will stand in front of a crowd of reporters and announce in an appropriately somber tone that the NHL has canceled the balance of the 2004-05 season.

As shocking as it will be to actually hear Bettman utter the words, it will be old news.

The 2004-05 season ended at about 3 p.m. ET on Thursday when the players' union and league officials completed yet another fruitless bargaining session with no plans to meet again, despite ...

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