From the USAToday site http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/hiestand-tv/2005-06-16-hiestand-tv_x.htm "Spice rack: ESPN passed on a one-year, $60 million extension of its NHL deal. But ESPN/ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer says, "We're still willing to talk to them. There's a drop-dead date, but it's not looming." ... Contingency in case of a NBA work stoppage or perhaps they try to get the NHL at a high discount?