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Deal has to be struck this week

Updated: October 21, 2012, 9:11 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- And so it comes down to this: a week, maybe less, to not just save a season but a game's reputation; to save the reputation of its players and owners and to disprove the widely held notion -- one that grows by the day -- that hockey will just never get it right.

Less than a week to prove that hockey isn't the crazy, drooling uncle of sport that deserves to be locked in the attic.

If commissioner Gary Bettman is to be believed, a full 82-game schedule can still be saved ...

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