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NHL players decide not to re-open collective bargaining agreement @NHLdotcom

MONTREAL - The executive board of the NHL Players' Association has voted not to re-open the collective bargaining agreement at the end of the season.

The NHLPA officially announced the decision Friday during a news conference in Montreal ahead of this weekend's all-star game.

The executive board vote, involving union reps from all 30 teams, was held via conference call Thursday night.

As part of the CBA that was signed to end the lockout in July 2005, the players were given the right to opt out of the six-year agreement after the fourth year.

The current deal expires in September 2011.

NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly said the current economic conditions played into the players' decision not to enter another round of labour negotiations.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the announcement "certifies the players' endorsement of the CBA.

"We are extremely pleased that the league and the players now can move forward together and that the fans' focus can remain on the ice, where it belongs," said Bettman.

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