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Triangle Braces For Long Hockey Lockout

Players, staff, and others who earn a living from professional hockey in the Triangle are bracing for a long, protracted labor dispute.  One year after the entire 2004-2005 season was lost due to the last contractual dispute between team owners and players, the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup.

But the 'Canes franchise has struggled on the ice since 2006, qualifying for the playoffs just once in the past five years. And while a loyal fan base here and across the league have stabilized the NHL's finances, it hasn't been enough to ease tensions between players and owners.

The current dispute has already claimed all pre-season games in September. A lockout is almost certainly going to extend into the regular season, affecting not just the team's bottom line and player salaries, but the much lower incomes of the hundreds of arena staffers, restaurant employees, and others who work home games.

Dave DeWitt is WUNC's Feature News Editor. As an editor, reporter, and producer he's covered politics, environment, education, sports, and a wide range of other topics.
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