The NHL may finally have gotten a little luck in its unending quest to become a true national sport.

Hockey's biggest names have made the Stanley Cup Finals - the Detroit Red Wings are the league's most recognizable team, and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby is the new face of the league.

Detroit, one of the six pre-expansion franchises, is seeking its fourth Cup since 1997 (a year Flyers fans remember with anguish).

Crosby, 20, is the youngest captain in Stanley Cup history and is only about half the age of Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom, the 38-year-old defenseman.

Further, no NHL team in recent years has gone into the finals with so many of its key players so young - Crosby, forwards Jordan Staal (19) and Evgeni Malkin (21) and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (23) are 23 or younger.

The Red Wings have 14 players who are 30 or older, including Lidstrom, goalie Chris Osgood (35), defenseman Chris Chelios (46), forward Dallas Drake (39), alternate captain Kris Draper (36) and defenseman Brian Rafalski (34).

Detroit has won 12 of 16 playoff games. The Penguins have been even better, winning 12 of 14.

Names from the past. Lloyd Moore, one of the few survivors from NASCAR's first season, and the oldest former driver, has died. He was 95.

Moore died in his sleep Sunday in Frewsburg, N.Y., in the home where he was born in 1912, according to NASCAR's Web site.

Moore drove in the old Grand National series until 1955, racing such stalwarts as Lee Petty, Cotton Owens and Fireball Roberts.

In his day, he once told the Buffalo News, they would drive overnight to a race, unload the trunk, then roll the same car out on the track.

"We just stuck a number on the side, took 'em down and raced 'em," Moore said.

Finally. The NFL's labor situation will cause real trouble in three years.

The underlying factor in the owners' unanimous vote to end the current contract (which gives players 60 percent of revenue) after 2010 is the exploding cost of stadium construction.

"The cost of building or renovating stadiums has absolutely skyrocketed in the last five years," Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt told the Kansas City Star.

For every dollar of new revenue generated by a new stadium, 40 percent goes to the league and 60 percent to the players association, explained Hunt, whereas 100 percent of the cost for creating that new dollar of revenue is borne by the team and taxpayers, as in the case of Lincoln Financial Field.

"It's one thing if you spend a dollar to generate a dollar," Hunt said, "but most teams are in a situation where they are spending a dollar to generate 40 cents."

This article contains information from the Associated Press.
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