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NHL TALKS BREAK OFF

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said labor talks broke off even before a 25 percent payroll tax on teams that exceed certain levels hit the bargaining table.

Washington forward Kelly Miller of the players' negotiating team said sides were close on most issues but that the owners were looking for reasons to say, "Things have broken down, here's the tax."No talks are planned before a Monday meeting of the NHL Board of Governors.