It's expected to be a tough year at the racks for NHL merchandise. Thanks to the year-long work stoppage, sales declined by at least 30 percent, and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association is predicting that gross sales could be as low as $500 million in 2005, according to the organization's spokesman Mike May. That's not good, considering that NHL sales have hovered around the $1 billion mark since the late '90s.
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