SBD/27/Leagues Governing Bodies

HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 27: NOT- SO-SECRET AGENTS MEETING

     NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow meets today with about 30-40
player agents, a constituency from which "there have been
grumbles and complaints emanating. ... His ability to cement
their backing could be a key factor in maintaining player
solidarity as the players begin to miss paycheques.  If the
agents begin to bail, their clients won't be far behind" (Damien
Cox, TORONTO STAR, 10/27).  CANADIAN PRESS' Alan Adams describes
the agents as split among the "hawks, doves and the nod-the-head
gang" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/27).  Briefing the media and
execs in FL, NHL Senior VP & Dir of Hockey Ops Brian Burke hoped
for some progress from today's summit:  "The agents played a very
significant role in settling the 1992 strike, and they could play
a significant role again" (Roy Cummings, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/27).
     THE SOLIDARITY CUP:  Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille were the
first two NHL stars to commit to the NHLPA's two-day "Four on
Four Challenge" in Hamilton on November 11-12.  The round-robin
event will feature four teams of NHL players -- from the U.S.,
Ontario, Quebec and Western Canada.  For now, the only plans are
to air the event in Canada, but NHLPA Dir of Communications Steve
McAllister said the possibility of a U.S. broadcast is still
being explored (Viv Bernstein, HARTFORD COURANT, 10/27).  Gabe
Macaluso, CEO of Hamilton's Copps Coliseum, said the 17,500-seat
arena will be sold out.  Macaluso:  "We haven't had anything like
this since the final game of Canada-Russia in 1987" (Len
Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 10/27).  Bruins President Harry
Sinden:  "I hope they do play them.  Maybe then they'll
understand how hard it is to stage a game" (BOSTON HERALD,
10/27).
     IF IT'S TUESDAY, THIS MUST BE HELSINKI:  Wayne Gretzky is
planning a "goodwill tour" in Europe, with a group of elite
players playing local clubs in European hockey cities, probably
sometime in December.  Gretzky said it is an idea he has had for
two years, "but the NHL has squashed it."  Gretzky:  "What I want
to do is make it very legitimate hockey, make it good,
competitive, strong hockey, strong enough that television would
love to buy it and support it." Tentative sites include Helsinki,
Stockholm, Dusseldorf, Bern and Milan (Al Strachan, TORONTO SUN,
10/27).  Gretzky will not be available to play in the NHLPA's
Hamilton tournament, due to a previously planned Caribbean cruise
(Jim Taylor, Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/27).
     OTHER NEWS & NOTES:  The league denied a SPORTING NEWS
report that federal mediator John Martin could join the talks as
early as Tuesday.  NHL VP of Communications Arthur Pincus:  "As
we have said over the past few weeks, we are not at the point
where mediation or arbitration can help the process.  We have got
to get some common ground first" (Al Strachan, TORONTO SUN,
10/27)....Mighty Ducks coach Ron Wilson and 21 other members of
the team's coaching and admin staff are taking other jobs within
the Disney organization (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/27).
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