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Talks between NHL owners and players broke off after nine hours of discussion that the both the union and owners said yielded little.

There was no indication that the players intend to strike right away, although the union, which says it has strike authorization from every team but one - reportedly Minnesota - will poll its players in the next few days. If there is a strike, it's likely to occur in the playoffs.Bob Goodenow, the NHLPA's executive director, said the two principal stumbling blocks were changes in the free agency rules and a reduction of the entry draft from the present 12 rounds to six.