SBD/21/Leagues Governing Bodies

SPECULATION ON NHL LOCKOUT CONTINUES AS TWO SIDES MEET

     NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
Goodenow met yesterday for seven hours in New York, but were
unable to reach a compromise on a new Collective Bargaining
Agreement.  Following the discussions, Bettman said talks would
continue today: "We're not ready to announce a deal by any
stretch of the imagination" (Bob McKenzie, TORONTO STAR, 9/21).
Bettman added: "I don't think there's a proposal that I would yet
take back to the clubs" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 9/20).  Goodenow
described the talks as "constructive," but he remained
"cautious": "Some serious philosophical differences have to be
resolved if we're going to have a deal" (David Shoalts, Toronto
GLOBE & MAIL, 9/21).  In this morning's papers, participants and
observers share differing viewpoints on the prospect of a
lockout:
     LOOKS GOOD: Shoalts writes that following yesterday's
negotiations "there was a sense of hope a new collective
agreement is not far away."  He adds that many "feel there is
enough common ground for optimism" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/21).  NHLPA
President Mike Gartner: "We may not be on the same page, but
we're in the same book" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/21).  Sharks Operations
Dir Dean Lombardi:  "Something will get done when each side has a
gun at the other's head" (Ann Killion, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS,
9/21).
     LOOKS BAD:  Bob McKenzie writes: "Be careful, the light at
the end of the tunnel that some may have seen ... is more likely
a train than a ray of hope."  He adds, "If anybody thinks the nut
has been cracked on this baby, it's not even close" (TORONTO
STAR, 9/21).  One NHL official close to the talks: "The season
won't start on the first of October -- that you can put money on"
(Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/21).  Al Strachan writes, "Don't
be misled.  There is still much talking to do" (TORONTO SUN,
9/21).
     AND FINALLY ... In Canada's FINANCIAL POST, Jamie Wayne
writes, "The NHL has about as much chance of shutting down next
month as Bruce McNall does of becoming a financial consultant for
the Bank of America" (FINANCIAL POST, 9/20).
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