Hasek returns, joins red wings! Kariya and Selanne together again! Alas, though, the most recurrent headline of the coming season will be NHL LABOR NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE. Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players' Association chief Bob Goodenow have until Sept. 15, 2004, to work out a collective-bargaining agreement, or a lockout is probable. The sticking point? The league wants, in Bettman's words, "cost certainty" (translation: salary cap); the union wants the status quo. � We won't try to predict how those negotiations will turnout, but here's how SI sees this season: The fabulous Avalanche, with Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne, will be the most exciting team to watch since the Pittsburgh Penguins of the early 1990s. But Dominik Hasek will lead the venerable Red Wings to the finals. Then the Ottawa Senators will turn back Detroit to win the Stanley Cup.
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