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World championship is selling itself to NHLers

Updated: May 4, 2005, 2:44 PM ET
By Damien Cox | Special to ESPN.com

INNSBRUCK, Austria -- Don Waddell clearly remembers skulking outside NHL arenas in the springtime, hoping to confront a U.S.-born player or two who had refused to return his phone calls about playing in the IIHF world hockey championship in a distant European city.

"It was embarrassing," said Waddell, the general manager of this year's U.S. entry. "They'd hear I was out there waiting for them, and they'd go out a different door. They just didn't want to deal with it."

A surprising ...

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