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60° Good Afternoon

News from Gary Bettman's address in Chicago

                In no particular order:

             ---   In addition to Caps playing at Heinz Field in Pitt on Jan. 1, D.C. will host a Winter Classic in next 2-3 years.

             ---   Next year's schedule out June 22, three weeks earlier than usual

             ---   Outdoor game in Calgary vs Montreal expected to be Feb. 20

              ---  With NHL revenues up 4 percent, cap could rise about $2 million if NHLPA accepts escalator. But not definite.

             ---   NHL will stage research and devlopment camp with top 17 year olds on Aug. 18-19 in Toronto to test potential rules, equipment changes. But not shrinking goaltending gear, says Brendan Shanahan, who is helming the project.

             ---  League discussing possible change in All-Star format. Game to be held in Carolina next season.

                ---Reiterates feeling that Isles owner Charles Wang doesn't "have any intention to leave New York area" and will honor lease through 2015.

              ---No expansion on table, but Winnipeg has been told to be patient after making case for Coyotes. Also mentioned Quebec, where there are plans for new arena. 

             ----Told IIHF chairman Rene Fasel to apologize for PR director's slam of NHL players who didn't participate in World Championships.  Says issue of future participation will be discussed with NHLPA...

              ----No transfer agreement with Russia on tap, but exhibition games scheduled for St. Petersburg and also Belfast this fall



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