SBD/13/Leagues Governing Bodies

NEW TV DEAL DOES NOTHING TO LESSEN NHL LOCKOUT TALK

     Talks between the NHL owners and the NHLPA, "which are
expected to resume this week, have gone nowhere thus far and the
likelihood of a work stoppage grows with each passing day."
However, one NHL GM "feels there's still time to reach a
settlement":  "It's not the 11th hour, so there is no need to
panic.  But it will be interesting to see what happens when the
11th hour is reached" (Alan Adams, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 9/13).  ESPN's
Keith Olberman reported that the NHL has decided to go ahead with
the lockout "within the first few weeks of the regular season
unless their union has agreed to a collective bargaining
agreement by then."  It is still undecided whether the lockout
will take place before or after October 1.  Olberman:  "Our
sources report owners are considering playing the opening game to
reduce the amount of full refund request from season ticket
holders.  One veteran exec tells ESPN that the owners are ready
to shut it all down for two months" ("SportsCenter", 9/12).
     WILL FOX CHASE AWAY THOSE LOCKOUT BLUES?  Agent Mark
LaChance told THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY:  "The Fox deal won't
affect the lockout.  The increase in revenues won't matter.  The
Players Association will never go for a salary cap" (DAILY
sources, 9/13).  In Toronto, Jim Hunt writes, "Surely, now that
the NHL has bagged a TV contract with the Fox network, [NHL]
Commissioner Gary Bettman won't be crazy enough to lock out the
players.  But I wouldn't bet on it" (TORONTO SUN, 9/13).  Bob
McKenzie, on the league's view:  "The future of the league is in
good hands with Bettman.  The players should have faith in him
and his ability to increase revenues and have no fear of an
agreement that links salaries to revenue because revenue is on
the way up."  On the NHLPA's view:  "The league is not, as
Bettman wrote to [NHLPA Exec Dir Bob] Goodenow last January, in
'tenuous financial condition,' not even close.  And the new TV
deal not only proves that, but is one more compelling reason to
avoid at all costs a lockout that would halt hockey's momentum as
a major player in North American pro sports" (TORONTO STAR,
9/13).
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