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NHL LABOR TALKS RESUME TODAY
Published September 16, 1994
The NHLPA negotiating team, in an effort to avoid an owners' lockout, will be pressing "new concepts" today in meetings with the league "that should be a bellweather for the rest of the talks leading up" to the October 1 season opener. NHLPA President Mike Gartner: "What we'll come away with is just how serious the league is. Is there an air of compromise or is there another agenda?" Gartner and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow "refused to get into specifics of today's talks," though Gartner "implored" NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and his lawyers to "carefully study what the players are putting forward." There has been talk of "reworking" the owners' idea of a salary cap and creating a "luxury tax," to be paid by clubs which exceed a pre- set spending limit to those who don't (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN, 9/16). However, the players "dismiss" many of the proposals by the league as "salary caps in disguise." Although this is the first meeting between Bettman and Goodenow in more than a week, "it is unlikely anything earth shattering will immediately come out" today. "A more likely scenario would see the NHL study any new proposal through the weekend" (Paul Hunter, TORONTO STAR, 9/16). WHY LOCK EM' OUT? Whalers co-owner Jim Rutherford: "What everyone's looking at is the window of opportunity for hockey with them not having to compete with the World Series. If you look at that on a short term, you say, 'Geez, yeah, that is an opportunity.' But I don't believe that any sport, especially hockey, can look at it on the short term. They have to fix what the problems are related to the economics of the game" (Viv Bernstein, HARTFORD COURANT, 9/16). In Detroit, Keith Gave notes, "In a battle over public sentiment -- which frequently influences how labor disagreements are settled -- the players already are overwhelming winners" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 9/15). ADVANCED EXPOSURE Header over Joe LaPointe's column: "This October, Hockey has The Stage." LaPointe notes that the only athlete spotted at the MTV awards last week was the Rangers Mark Messier (N.Y. TIMES, 9/16). STEEL EYES: Penguin players are refusing to make TV appearances to promote ticket and merchandise sales until the league and union negotiated a new deal (mult., 9/16).