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Games and salaries disappear with no end in sight to NHL lockout

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WINNIPEG -- With the first full weekend of the NHL schedule cancelled and no end in sight to the lockout, real games and real salary are gone.

Will those items ramp up the urgency to end the league's labour impasse?

"Well, I hope so," said Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards of Kenora, who joined some Winnipeg Jets and other locally connected locked-out players for their skate today at the MTS Iceplex. "It's not just the NHL and the players who are losing money right now. It's everybody. That's the unfortunate part of the world that we live in right now in sports, that this has to get in the way."

Richards, the 27-year-old former first-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, is coming off a 15-point playoff after which he hoisted the Cup.

That jubilation has turned to some amount of frustration, but Richards said the players need to stay patient.

"I've never gone through this before but I try to keep in the loop as much as possible," he said. "We just listen to Don (Fehr, NHLPA executive director) and the NHLPA and obviously we have full confidence in them and are going to stand together."

Negotiations between the league and the players are expected to resume on Tuesday.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

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