SBD/4/Leagues Governing Bodies

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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