hrewd business practice has prevailed in at least one chapter of the NHL lockout.

Russia's KHL has signed a North American broadcast agreement with ESPN3, ESPN's streaming digital network, for the 2012-13 season. The deal will feature a number of NHL players, including Russian stars Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin, who have gone to Europe in the absence of NHL hockey.

It also means the world's second-largest professional hockey league will have games available in North American markets at a time when the NHL can't compete.

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