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NHL LOCKOUT LOOMS IF TALKS SHOULD FALTER THIS WEEK
Published September 20, 1994
The key in today's round of NHL collective bargaining will be "how long the owners and union stay at the table and whether they're still talking" by tomorrow. If nothing positive emerges today, there is "little hope" of avoiding a labor dispute (Hornby & Morrison, TORONTO SUN, 9/20). A source close to the negotiations told the WINNIPEG FREE PRESS that a lockout will occur later this week: "If there isn't an agreement this week, there won't be a season, unless of course the owners ultimately decide to try replacement players." The source "made it clear" that a lockout would be lengthy: "For the first time in history, the owners are in complete agreement." The source added: "The players had better come up with something quick because at this stage, they aren't in any position to flex their muscles" (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 9/19). HOW ABOUT THAT ROOKIE CAP? The FREE PRESS source indicated that the owners "might be willing to discuss" a rookie salary cap (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 9/19). But NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow met yesterday with Kings and Might Ducks players in an attempt to convince them that a rookie cap is "unacceptable." Goodenow: "I think the notion of a rookie salary cap is not, contrary to some reports, something the players are going to accept." Goodenow was responding to weekend reports that some players -- most notably Patrick Roy of the Canadiens and Kelly Buchberger of the Oilers -- would be willing to compromise on a rookie cap. Roy: "The way I see it, that might save the small-market teams" (CANADIAN PRESS/VANCOUVER SUN, 9/20).