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  • CHINESE OR DELI? HOCKEY TALKS RESUME IN NEW YORK TODAY

         ESPN's Keith Olbermann: "Home ice advantage to the league,
    the two sides agreed to meet at the NHL headquarters in New York.
    The next big bargaining issue: decaf or regular" ("SportsCenter,"
    ESPN, 10/3).  NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow had "expressed
    reluctance" about New York and wanted to keep the talks in
    Toronto.  But NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he didn't think
    Toronto "would be a good idea."  One management source referred
    to "safety concerns" after player and fan threats: "Bettman is
    concerned about the people there" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES,
    10/4).
         MAKE THE CALL:  NHL VP & Dir of Hockey Operations Brian
    Burke:  "Lock the doors, order the Chinese food.  Nobody leaves
    until a deal's done.  I'd love to do that" (Alan Adams, CANADIAN
    PRESS/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/4).
         GRIDLOCK:  While both sides publicly indicate a willingness
    to talk, "neither side is ready to make a deal on the level the
    other would require."  One source close to many players:  "The
    players won't accept a cap or a luxury tax.  They'll talk about a
    payroll tax."  But a management source says any new system would
    have to "have an impact on players' salaries" (Murray Chass, N.Y.
    TIMES, 10/4).  Oilers Player Rep Bill Ranford said that the
    players have asked Bettman "to put the salary-cap issue off to
    the side and start talking about some of the other issues, and
    Gary said he has no interest in talking about anything else but
    the salary cap at this point" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/3).
         NO SKATE RULE:  The NHLPA had issued a "no pay, no practice"
    rule over the weekend closing all training camps. But yesterday,
    "the union pushed it a step further."  Whalers Player Rep Pat
    Verbeek: "No NHL player will go on the ice for two weeks, not
    even to skate in his own backyard" (Jeff Jacobs, HARTFORD
    COURANT, 10/4).
         EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE?  One source reports that there
    was "something less than unanimity" among NHL owners when the
    league opted for postponement.  The source:  "Some teams wanted
    the season to go ahead, but they were in the minority."  Maple
    Leaf Gardens Dir Brian Bellmore and Penguins Owner Howard Baldwin
    were both critics (William Houston, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/4).
    In Vancouver, Tony Gallagher reports the Leafs and the Red Wings
    "are among the seven teams within the minority who want peace
    made as quickly as possible so the games can go ahead."  Canucks
    Owner Arthur Griffiths publicly backs Bettman, but he has also
    "expressed an interest to get this thing over with and get hockey
    on the ice" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/4).
         JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU KNOW WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE:  Some
    players argue that NHL Governors should join Bettman in the
    negotiations, claiming that when they negotiated for themselves -
    - led by the Blackhawks' Bill Wirtz and the Flyers' Ed Snider --
    deals were made more quickly (Bill Beacon, CANADIAN PRESS/OTTAWA
    CITIZEN, 10/4).  But Tony Gallagher reports Wirtz "is adamant the
    players be taught a lesson no matter what the cost" (Vancouver
    PROVINCE, 10/4).  And Snider is quoted today as saying:  "If the
    players really want to get a deal done, we can get it done in two
    weeks.  If not, I'm willing to throw out the season" (Gary Miles,
    PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/4).
    

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  • NHL REPORTS $32M LOSS IN '92-93; PLAYERS DON'T BUY IT

         As the NHL labor talks resume today, the league continues to
    "confront a pattern of stonewalling" from NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
    Goodenow, according to a report in this morning's N.Y. POST.
    Larry Brooks bases this conclusion on "financial documents and a
    year of correspondence between the NHL and the NHLPA."  Among the
    findings:  In conjunction with the union last Fall, the NHL
    developed a "comprehensive financial report" -- the Unified
    Report of Operation -- to provide accounting of all teams'
    expenses and revenues; the NHL reports an operating deficit of
    $32M for '92-93, the last season for which complete records are
    complied; the Unified Report was the result of a suggestion in a
    9/30/93 correspondence from the union; repeated attempts from the
    NHL to open negotiations were rebuffed as long as the owners'
    proposal tied revenues to salaries; the NHLPA did not request
    partial financial information until August 31.  Concludes the
    POST's Brooks, "If the pattern persists, if Goodenow's position
    remains intransigent, the 'postponement' will become a lockout,
    which might indeed last for the duration of the season" (N.Y.
    POST, 10/4).
         TRUTH OR DARE:  In response to reports that most NHL clubs
    are losing money, William Houston cites "informed NHL observers"
    who say they are not accurate.  "In terms of money in and money
    out, only two teams were in the red last year -- the Winnipeg
    Jets and Hartford Whalers -- but in the case of Winnipeg, the
    city underwrites any loss incurred by the club."  For example,
    Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd. can report a '94 gross of over C$60M
    (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/4).  Capitals President Dick Patrick
    said the team lost $8M last year, with player salaries ("around
    $15 million") causing the bulk of the deficit.  Union sources
    claim creative accounting, and cite '92 figures in which USAir
    Arena sky box and parking receipts were counted as "arena
    revenue," not "hockey revenue" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST,
    10/4).  CANADIAN PRESS' Alan Adams reports that, since the over
    $20M in economic rollbacks imposed in August by Commissioner Gary
    Bettman, NHL owners have spent "more than 10 times that amount"
    on player salaries, including $70M for the '94-95 season alone
    (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/4).
         NOT BUYIN' IT:  Lightning Player Rep Brian Bradley:  "You
    can't tell me that big corporations like the ones that have
    bought the Rangers are getting into this thing just so they can
    hang out with the guys and go to games.  There's big money to be
    made in this league. ... And I think they're just trying to push
    the players down and keep them from getting any of it" (TAMPA
    TRIBUNE, 10/4).
    

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  • QUIET ON THE BASEBALL FRONT: ALL- STAR GAMES O.K'D

         In Chicago, Terry Armour writes, "both parties in the major-
    league baseball fiasco agree on one thing:  The game's image is
    in desperate need of enhancement."  With that in mind, Acting
    Commissioner Bud Selig has given the Black United Fund of New
    York to go-ahead to put together a series of all-star games:  two
    each in Chicago, New York and L.A. to help benefit the people of
    Rwanda.  The games are tentatively scheduled for the end of the
    month, with a team of AL East all-stars playing a team of NL East
    all-stars in New York, Central all-stars facing off in Chicago
    and West all-stars playing in L.A. (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/4).
    Meanwhile, Nike announced that it would not sponsor a series of
    all-star baseball games to benefit youth sports.  The objective
    was to raise awareness and money for youth sports programs.
    Officials at Nike said the "logistics involved are too complex to
    overcome" (THE DAILY).
         OTHER NEWS:  Rep. Pat Williams (D-MT), chair of the House
    Committee on Education & Labor, said that if the strike is not
    settled by the time Congress reconvenes January 3, he will call
    more hearings.  The House Judiciary Committee last week approved
    legislation that would have "partially removed the owners'
    antitrust exemption," but the effort to pass a similar bill in
    the Senate failed last Friday.  No talks between the owners and
    players are scheduled for today.  MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr, who
    completed a 7-city tour to update his players, probably will meet
    with players in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic next week.
    Owners are expected to meet in Detroit during the week of October
    16 to discuss how they will proceed next season (PHILADELPHIA
    INQUIRER, 10/4).
         YANKEE STABILITY:  In New York, Joel Sherman notes that
    "barring the unexpected," Yankee manager Buck Showalter "will do
    what no other Steinbrenner-reign manager has done   -- begin a
    fourth straight season in the job.  Of course, when the next
    season begins is uncertain" (N.Y. POST, 10/4).
    

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