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After five months, the obvious becomes official

Updated: February 16, 2005, 1:55 PM ET
By Ray Ratto | Special to ESPN.com

I know this will come as a shock to you, but the NHL owners couldn't even figure out the right time or way to blow up their product.

What they should have done, frankly, is trot commissioner Gary Bettman out to make the season-canceling announcement at the precise moment of the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl or the 199th lap at Daytona. That way, they could have gotten the exact audience they deserved.

The announcement, after all, was the perfect anticlimax to the perfect shame. ...

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