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NHL, NHLPA TO MEET AMID DISCUSSIONS OF SHORTENED SEASON
Published September 14, 1994
The NHL and the NHLPA are scheduled to meet Friday in either Toronto or New York to resume negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement (Dave Fuller, TORONTO SUN 9/14). Player Agent Rob Ingraham told the SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY yesterday that despite the talks, a lockout is still likely: "I think these discussions have started too late to allow for the give-and-take that is required for progress in these type of negotiations" (THE DAILY, 9/14). OWNERS PLANNING SHORTENED SEASON? Speculation continued yesterday that the league plans to begin the season October 1, and then lock out the players a few days later so that owners don't have to give entire refunds to season ticket holders. In fact, one source within the NHLPA alleged that the league owners had already drawn up a 50-game schedule for the coming season in anticipation of a long work stoppage (Dave Fuller, TORONTO SUN, 9/14). BREAK IN UNION? There are "rumblings of dissension within the players ranks -- chiefly over the issue of a rookie salary cap." According to one source, the NHL has proposed setting a $500,000 limit on entry level salaries in lieu of team-wide controls. Fuller adds, "Some players would agree to that kind of trade-off" (TORONTO SUN, 9/14). THE GREAT ONES WILL GET THE CASH: In Vancouver, Kent Gilchrist writes, "No matter what the next collective bargaining agreement brings, the reality of hockey in the '90s means there are going to be a few core players and then everyone else" (VANCOUVER PROVINCE, 9/14). LINKAGE WITH THE NEW TV DEAL? NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, after announcing the new Fox/ESPN TV arrangement (See story num. 5): "I have a theory that everything is linked to everything else. I wish it was, so I could hold a news conference tomorrow and announce an agreement on our other negotiations." In St. Louis, Jeff Gordon writes one aspect of the new TV deals -- "the willingness of local clubs to waive some blackout rights over Fox and ESPN -- is a small step in the revenue-sharing direction. Individual clubs will actually make a sacrifice to increase the revenue pool all clubs draw from" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/14).