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RHETORIC INTENSIFIES AS NHL LOCKOUT TALKS CONTIUNUE
Published September 27, 1994
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow met for more than four hours yesterday in New York. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday in Toronto, though members of both negotiating teams will meet in the interim. While "there's no sense" the two sides are "bridging the enormous gap" between their positions, a "little something must be happening to keep the talks alive" (Bob McKenzie, TORONTO STAR, 9/22). ESPN's Brett Haber contends that the past two days of negotiations accomplished little. The players and owners "find themselves, largely, in the same place where they found themselves two days before" ("Sportscenter," 9/22). CBS' Harry Smith: "In a show of unity, NHL players shook hands before their preseason games last night" ("CBS This Morning," 9/22). BETTMAN CATCHING SOME FLAK: Maple Leafs defenseman and former player rep Garth Butcher yesterday accused Bettman of being "far more interested" in busting the union, than of being concerned with the "well-being of hockey": "It's personal with him. ... There's right and there is wrong and what he's doing is not right and is not reasonable. It's not bargaining, it's bullying." Butcher added: "No one person is bigger than the game, but he's [Bettman] acting like he is" (Steve Simmons, TORONTO SUN, 9/22). In Ottawa, Roy MacGregor writes, "It would not be an exaggeration to describe Bettman's recent activities as a textbook study in union busting" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 9/22). ANOTHER SOLUTION? In Toronto, Dave Shoalts writes that owners could slow "the explosion in player salaries" by "simply refusing to renegotiate player contracts." Shoalts points out that a "good portion" of salary increases come as a result of the owners' "acquiescence to increasing player demands" to renegotiate their contracts when they see someone else get a raise. Panthers President Bill Torrey: "When you do that (agree to renegotiate), you're asking for trouble, no question" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 9/22).