No NHL Season

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The Colorado Avalanche hockey club met with reporters Wednesday afternoon at the Pepsi Center in Denver, hours after getting word that the National Hockey League season is history.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman officially canceled the remainder of the 2004-2005 season this morning, 153 days following the start of a lockout. A series of last-minute efforts to strike a deal between the league and the players union failed, and Bettman said he had no choice.

This will be the first season the Stanley Cup won't be awarded since 1919, when a flu epidemic forced cancellation of the finals.

Former Avs forward Matthew Barnaby says he was shocked to hear the union agreed to a salary cap after telling players for a year and a half it wouldn't accept one. But he said, "If that's what we need to do to get back to work, then that's what we need to do."

The union proposed a cap of $49 million per team. Owners said $42.5 million.

But "conditions" and "fine print" in both proposals put them more than just 6.5 million apart.