Ratification won't come easily for players

Updated: July 19, 2005, 8:41 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | Special to ESPN.com

TORONTO -- Rebirth is never easy.

Ask any caterpillar. Ask any butterfly.

Wednesday afternoon, dozens of NHL players will enter a Toronto hotel ballroom, and regardless of how tanned and healthy they look, these players will enter with the look of the vanquished about them. How they emerge from that same ballroom after voting on a new collective bargaining agreement Thursday morning will say much about the future of the NHL as it begins an arduous journey back to relevance.

Much ...

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