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NHL defines preseason financial losses as lockout continues

NEW YORK -- The financial losses are starting to pile up as a result of the NHL lockout.

And on Tuesday, the league made that public.

In speaking to reporters after talks finished up for the day between the NHL and the NHLPA, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly estimated that the league has lost US$100 million in revenues from the canceled preseason.

And though they can pick up at any time, for the moment, there are no further talks scheduled. That only further increases speculation that regular-season games could be lost, with an announcement sometime this week. The season was slated to begin Oct. 11.

Tuesday's bargaining session focused on the definition of hockey-related revenue, and featured NHLPA head Donald Fehr, his brother, Steve, the special counsel to the players' association, and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey.

Daly, in an email to the Associated Press, said the league has not projected potential damage caused by the cancellation of any regular-season games. Clearly, the hope is that it won't have to address that matter, but the clock is ticking.

In the meantime, media outlets are making plans to keep fans happy during yet another stoppage. On Tuesday, Russia's Kontinental Hockey League announced it will broadcast games in the United States on ESPN3. It plans to air five games this month on ESPN3, the online streaming service. Wednesday's game between Dynamo Moscow and Ak Bars Kazan will be the first game televised.

Now in its third week, the lockout has forced many players to head overseas to play on month-to-month contracts. Others who are eligible to play at the lower levels opened training camp last week with American Hockey League affiliates. Still, there are several players who remain in North America, and continue to work out among themselves. On Tuesday in Minnesota, several members of the Wild got together for a skate.

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