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NHL LABOR TALKS END WITH A BARRAGE OF GOODENOW-BASHING
Published October 6, 1994
In Toronto, Bob McKenzie sums up the state of the talks on a new NHL collective bargaining agreement: "NHL owners believe [NHLPA Exec Dir] Bob Goodenow is an intransigent S.O.B. who doesn't know the meaning of compromise and has a cavalier disregard for the league's serious economic woes. NHL players believe [Commissioner] Gary Bettman is a vindictive egomaniac with no knowledge of the game who wants players to be serfs in a hockey feudal system. Well, well, aren't things going just swimmingly?" (TORONTO STAR, 10/6). HARRY'S NOT WILD ABOUT BOB: At the management press conference following the meetings, Bruins President & GM Harry Sinden made "an impassioned speech" attacking Goodenow and Devils Owner John McMullen "questioned Goodenow's intelligence" (Alan Adams, CP/OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/6). Sinden: "No matter what you do, no matter what you try, no matter what compromise position you come up with. ... They will be rejected. ... Mr. Goodenow has a different group of people to deal with this time. We will never capitulate" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/5). McMullen: "The most important thing of all when you deal with a union is to have an intelligent union leader -- and we didn't have one today" (Mult., 10/6). "Sinden likely did more to harden the lines of communication last night than would have anything said face-to-face" (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/6). Some thought the presence of management representatives at the bargaining table "might help the proceedings. Now there is a question how much damage they might have done" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 10/6). Bettman later distanced himself from the tone taken by Sinden and McMullen: "It's not appropriate for us to repudiate anybody's intelligence or make any personal or nasty comments" (Mult., 10/6). RESPONSE: Goodenow: "If Harry Sinden and John McMullen believe this sort of tactic is going to make us give in to their plan, they're wrong. ... Remember, we're the ones being locked out here" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/6). HOPE IS FLEETING: ESPN's Al Morganti: "These two sides are so far apart philosophically, it doesn't look good for hockey October 15" ("SportsCenter," 10/5). "Unless the owners are prepared to do radical surgery to their proposal, don't expect a deal soon. The gulf between the sides is simply too great" (John MacKinnon, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/6). Penguins Owner Howard Baldwin: "It is over. We are not getting anywhere. I came here as a dove. Now I am a hawk" (CANADIAN PRESS/OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/6).