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Fehr, NFL players fear lockout looming

The Sports Xchange
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The threat of an NHL lockout appears to be getting closer.

Backed by nearly 300 players Thursday in New York that included Sidney Crosby, union head Donald Fehr said at a news conference that the players would like to play while negotiations continue with owners over a new collective bargaining agreement but that a lockout before the Saturday deadline appears inevitable.

???The players want to find a way to make an agreement,??? Fehr said. ???They want to negotiate until we do.???

Fehr added that was surprised and disappointed with the owners??? position and their apparent resignation to a shutdown. The NHL???s current offer allows for increased revenue sharing with the players, but Fehr said the proposal calls for a 17 percent pay reduction.

"We'd like an agreement that stabilizes this industry, allows markets that need to grow to grow," Fehr said. "Hockey is poised, I think, to really move over next couple of years."

Crosby said, "A lockout is kind of what they're looking for."

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