SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies

NHL SEASON OPENER DELAYED; "IS ANYBODY IN A HURRY HERE?"

     In Toronto, Damien Cox reports, "Aside from the production
of more evidence that both sides in the three-day-old NHL
shutdown believe themselves to be both united and on the high
moral ground, there was precious little progress" on Sunday
toward a new collective bargaining agreement.  NHL Commissioner
Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow spoke by phone, "and
bargaining is expected to resume tomorrow in New York" (TORONTO
STAR, 10/3).  One person from the league suggested a neutral site
(Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 10/3).  NHL VP & General Counsel
Jeffrey Pash:  "There's room for negotiation on virtually every
issue" (Larry Brooks, N.Y. POST, 10/1).
     POSTPONEMENT:  Bettman, announcing Friday that the start of
the season will be postponed until October 15 in hopes of
beginning play with an agreement:  "We want a sensible system
because we need to make the product stronger.  If we have a
stronger product we think we can generate more revenues for the
benefit of everyone -- including, and especially, the players"
(ESPN, 9/30).
     BREAKING TRAINING:  Many players returned home after the
NHLPA announced that players would not take part in team-
sponsored training.  The union ran an ad in papers in NHL cities
across North America stating their case.
     SHOW THE NUMBERS:  Gare Joyce writes that Bettman and the
NHL "have provided little in the way of material backup for their
claims" that they are losing money.  Goodenow claims the union
has not received "profit and loss information" (Toronto GLOBE &
MAIL, 10/1).
     BEHIND THE SCENES:  Larry Brooks reports that Goodenow told
the N.Y. POST that Bettman acknowledged in a negotiating session
last week that the NHL was seeking a salary cap.  Goodenow: "Gary
admitted to me that the league's payroll taxation proposal was a
cap on salaries."  Bettman, who has consistently contended that
the league's plan is not a salary cap, was unavailable for
comment.  But the report notes that NHL ownership is willing to
negotiate a CBA that includes revenue-sharing and guarantees
players a percentage of all new income -- including pay-per-view
-- if the players accept the luxury tax concept (N.Y. POST,
10/3).  This morning's TORONTO SUN reports on a memo given to all
owners detailing actions clubs "must take during the
'postponement'" in terms of P.R., cost-cutting, contract
negotiations, roster moves, front-office operations, third-party
contracts, picketing, etc. (TORONTO SUN, 10/3).
     WHAT'S AT STAKE?  In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont doubts the
"conventional wisdom" that a lockout would do the NHL
"irreparable harm":  "Chances are, hockey would survive (people
forget), and the game has a far better chance of thriving if the
owners can put themselves into healthier financial positions"
(BOSTON GLOBE, 10/2).  Sports marketer Brandon Steiner: "There
are so many new corporate sponsors and advertisers just stepping
into the game.  You just can't have this setback.  Because that
money, in such a competitive market place, will get funneled
somewhere else real quick" ("Sports Weekly," ESPN, 10/2).  Mike
Lupica:  "We are going to know something in six months that we
don't know now.  And that's whether there's going to be a salary
cap in sports or not" ("Sports Reporters," ESPN, 10/2).
     FROM THE PLAYERS:  Wayne Gretzky: "I don't see us playing
hockey at Christmas time" ("Moneyline," CNN, 9/30).  Gretzky:
"The problem we're facing here is much bigger than hockey.  It's
a problem that faces sports in general" (ESPN, 9/30).  Flyers
Player Rep Mark Recchi:  "We did everything possible to make the
season go.  It's obvious that Bettman had something else on his
agenda.  Basically, he's been lying to the association.  He's got
to take the blame if this goes a long time" (PHILA. INQUIRER,
10/1).  NHLPA VP Kelly Miller:  "If you have a McDonald's
franchise and put it on the wrong street corner or manage it
badly, it's not going to make a profit. ... I don't go along with
the argument that sports is special" (WASH. POST, 10/1).
     FROM THE OWNERS:  Flyers Owner Ed Snider: "They should come
to the table willing, and say let's make a deal.  They don't want
to."  Blues GM/coach Mike Keenan: "The solution is there.  We are
bright enough people to find a solution."  Lightning GM Phil
Esposito: "Sit in a room, lock the doors, slap each other, I
don't care.  Get it done" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 9/30).  Later,
Keenan called on Bettman and Goodenow to "stop the nonsense, set
aside their egos, get on with the business at hand and get the
job done" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/2).  Flames Governor
Harley Hotchkiss:  "What's really at issue here is whether a city
like Calgary can have an NHL team" (CALGARY HERALD, 10/1).
Panthers President Bill Torrey:  "No matter what everybody says
about this being the wrong time, the cold, hard facts are the
bottom line continues to get worse" (MIAMI HERALD, 10/1).
     CANADIAN ECONOMIC IMPACT:  In Manitoba alone, a protracted
lockout would kill C$705,000 a month in Sports Select bets, says
Wester Canada Lottery Corp. spokesperson Marlene Gockel (WINNIPEG
FREE PRESS, 10/1).  Meanwhile, Canadian broadcasters "could be
frozen out" of C$100M if there is prolonged NHL work stoppage.
CBC officials are not "divulging estimates of the financial
damage," but one CBC spokesperson said "it is going to be a
serious number, no doubt" (Marina Strauss, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
10/1).
Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug