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"The fear is that hockey has slipped into an extended deep freeze. There are no talks planned in the dispute and there's some thought the two parties might not warm to negotiations until games start being cancelled. That could come this weekend" (Paul Hunter, TORONTO STAR, 10/13). Neither the NHLPA nor the NHL could confirm if players would or would not be paid per lost game, but Canucks Owner Arthur Griffiths said there would be a "pro-rata loss of salary" (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/13). MOVING TO A CAP? In New York, Murray Chass reports that some owners have raised the notion of converting the luxury tax plan to a straight salary cap, "as in, 'if we're going to have a war, let's have a war over a salary cap.'" While it "was not by any means the prevailing view," the sentiment "reflects the bleakness of the negotiating situation for the near future." One person close to the union, on the luxury tax: "If that's an ongoing condition of a deal, there will never be a deal" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/13). LOSSES: Senators Owner Rod Bryden projects the team will lose $15M if the season is lost and $8M if there is a 50-game schedule. But Bryden foresees no layoffs and no delays on construction of the Palladium, the team's new $200M home (John MacKinnon, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/13). Maple Leaf President Cliff Fletcher also predicted a $15M loss if there is no season (Damien Cox, TORONTO STAR, 10/13). GOODENOW-BASHING: Capitals Owner Abe Pollin tells the WASHINGTON POST that during the '92 labor talks he opened the books on the Capitals and the Capital Centre for Goodenow to prove the team lost money, only to hear that two days later Goodenow was calling them "fake numbers" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 10/13). Whalers Owner Peter Karmanos said he paid Goodenow for help in attaining a franchise when Goodenow was a player agent. Karmanos claims Goodenow billed him "thousands" every month and "assured" him he would get a franchise. Goodenow: "I never, ever assured them of a team. That's ridiculous." Karmanos: "I'm saying he's very arrogant" (HARTFORD COURANT, 10/12). OTHER OWNERSHIP QUOTES: Blues President Jack Quinn: "We're saying to the players, 'Fellas, you're already in far more than 50-50. We're trying to tell you to slow down. You can't have Christmas every year" (Dave Luecking, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/13). Arthur Griffiths, on the NHLPA's mistrust of ownership's figures: "It's easier to say they don't believe you than bring in their auditors" (Iain MacIntyre, VANCOUVER SUN, 10/13). Griffiths did note that "some local advertising" did not figure into gross revenues (Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/13). Bruins Pres/GM Harry Sinden: "We are prepared at the moment to take a hit, I'm not going to tell you what the number is, but it's a big-time hit across the league" ("SportsCenter," 10/12). PLAYER QUOTES: Blues winger Brendan Shanahan: "For Gary Bettman to react the way he did leaves me no other conclusion than his sole intention is to break the union" (Dave Luecking, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/13). Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick: "I'm ready to sit here a year or two, I'll go play in Europe if I have to" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/12). Lightning Player Rep Brian Bradley: "I don't think anything's going to happen until maybe Nov. 1. ... The whole thing is trust. They don't trust us and we don't trust them" (Roy Cummings, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/13). NHLPA VP Kelly Miller said that NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow told players to "prepare to lose the entire" season (Baltimore SUN, 10/13). THE "I" IS WATCHING: While IHL Commissioner Bob Ufer said he would not recommend that his GM's sign locked-out NHLers, other agents are keeping open the possibility. Agent Steve Bartlett: "A lot of my players are saying, 'Why not?' Every player I have is willing to look at it." But agent Rick Curran is recommending against it since IHL teams are requesting 100% commitment to the whole season (Viv Bernstein, HARTFORD COURANT, 10/13). There is talk on the West Coast of a player-staged "California Cup" among the Sharks, Kings and Ducks (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/13). EUROPE, HO? Int'l Ice Hockey Federation countries are bring advised by the NHL to prohibit contracted players from playing. NHL Dir of Hockey Operations Brian Burke reportedly told Swedish League President Tommy Toppel that NHLers are not allowed to play in Sweden. Finnish League President Urpo Hilkovaara has said his league will not allow NHL players to join (Mike Weaver, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/13). But today's WINNIPEG SUN reports that "the way has been cleared" for Teemu Selanne to rejoin his old Finnish team, Jokerit (Ed Willes, WINNIPEG SUN, 10/13). FOOT SOLDIER: CNN's Nick Charles reports Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek is playing soccer at training camp of the NPSL's Buffalo Blizzard ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 10/12). WALKING THE LINE: The CANADIAN PRESS reports some U.S. players are filing for unemployment insurance. Edmonton-based agent Rich Winter: "Here I am, a high-profile player agent with a young superstar, and I'm talking about [unemployment]. He was asking me questions on how to fill out the form, it's hilarious" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/13).
MLS organizers will meet with prospective investors this Monday "to determine whether the league will begin as scheduled in April, and if so, with how many teams." Among the possible backers scheduled to attend are three NFL owners (Lamar Hunt, Robert Kraft and Alex Spanos); representatives of VA businessman John Kluge -- Forbes' 3rd richest person in America; members of a partnership involving basketball star Hakeem Olajuwon; and the head of a firm that serves as the USSF's sole marketing agent. FIFA General Secretary Joseph Blatter: "I'm sure they will start in April." Asked about a delay until '96: "It would be a disappointment. ... Naturally there is going to be a negative image of their organizational abilities. But it would not be the end of our effort to help." Even if all goes well on Monday with the potential investors, MLS will begin with only 10 teams, instead of 12 as planned. MLS is offering shares of the league in $5M units. MLS officials have said they need an initial investment of about $75M to get started (Goff & Berkowitz, WASHINGTON POST, 10/13). POST-WORLD CUP NEWS: World Cup officials in Dallas announced that the international soccer tournament generated $144M in direct spending for the Dallas area and an overall economic impact of $301M (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/12).
In conjunction with Commissioner Gary Bettman's announcement that the NHL Board of Governors had rejected the NHLPA's most recent proposal, the NHL released a detailed statement comparing the league and the union proposals and outlining the league's financial condition: PERCENT INCREASE/DECREASE FROM 1989-90 TO 1993-94 (The '93-94 numbers are based on preliminary estimates)89-9090-9191-9292-9393-94+/-
AVG TICKET PRICE$18.60$20.73$22.86$26.17$29.05+56% REVENUES398M449M498M604M717M+80% AVG PLAYER SALARY232K253K369K463K558K+140% PLAYER COSTS166M200M272M358M440M+165% PROFIT/LOSS50.3M44.1M-13.6M-30M-37.6M-175% NO. OF TEAMS2121222426NHLPANHLNHLPANHLPANHLNHLPA22-Sep5-Oct10-Oct22-Sep5-Oct10-Oct1 NYR$2,406$3,335$2,11910 BOS$1,803$578$9832 DET2,3463,3982,08811 MON1,6814809173 PIT2,2902,8442,03412 NJ1,5524138474 LA2,2372,0301,96913 SJ1,8006567655 CHI2,1937221,51314 ANA1,6996507426 STL2,0391,6881,47515 VAN1,4894795907 PHI1,9816071,39716 QUE1,3433394708 TOR1,7404851,26517 NYI1,480009 DAL1,9526321,065
BASEBALL: Representatives for MLB's owners and striking players said yesterday that formal labor negotiations "likely will not resume until early next week. But the sides probably will speak today about the owners' proposal to put a 45-day freeze on players filing for free agency and signing contracts" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/13). BASKETBALL: Players at the Hawks training camp are not thinking about a strike. Hawks captain Kevin Willis: "There won't be a strike in the NBA. I guarantee we'll be playing ball." Hawks Player Rep Jon Koncak said the team has not discussed the league's labor situation since training camp started. Koncak said "conciliatory messages" from NBA Commissioner David Stern and Hawks President Stan Kasten "have helped bury the subject." Craig Ehlo, in his 12th year, "says if any thought has been given to such an issue, it is growing agreement among veteran players for the establishment of a rookie salary cap": "It's ridiculous for guys who have never played in the league to be making so much money [while] good veteran players can't get contracts. Something needs to be done" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/13).