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NHL MANAGEMENT IN SYNCH: GOODENOW'S TO BLAME
Published October 7, 1994
In several cities around the league, NHL owners and general managers were adhering to a common theme: that NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow's resistance to bargain is the main impediment to the league and the union settling on a new collective bargaining agreement. BOSTON: The NHL's most recent proposal included a 122% maximum tax on payrolls exceeding the league average, down from 125%. Bruins President & GM Harry Sinden indicated the league "might be willing" to lower the rate further. Sinden: "Can we go lower? Therein lies the big problem. How do you know what you might do unless somebody negotiates with you" (Stephen Harris, BOSTON HERALD, 10/7). FLORIDA: Panthers President Bill Torrey: "Goodenow, for whatever reason, does not want to make a deal right now. When you say you want to make a deal, you stay at the table, battle it out and make a deal" (N.Y. POST, 10/7). NEW JERSEY: Devils President Lou Lamoriello said he sees the NHLPA "duplicating" baseball's tactics. On the rejection of the latest proposal: "Gary Bettman went quite a distance with yesterday's proposal. I think he offered too much, considering the financial situation of the league, but he wants to find a way to reach an agreement that's fair to everyone. Yet, there was no indication that the players association wants to make a deal" (N.Y. POST, 10/7). PHILADELPHIA: Flyers GM Bobby Clarke, who once headed the players union, said he believes MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr "is telling Goodenow what to do." Clarke on Goodenow, who represented him when Clarke was North Stars GM: "Those of us who know Goodenow felt from the start there would be no chance of a deal being made. He's not a deal maker. ... If anything, these players should be tying their wagons to Bettman. He's done more in two years than has ever been done in this league" (Gary Miles, PHILA. INQUIRER, 10/7). TAMPA BAY: Lightning President Phil Esposito: "When we put up two proposals, I thought we were making some progress. But then he [Goodenow] says no to both of them. And then he says we're going to come up with a proposal of our own and we'll get back to you in a couple of days or so. What is that? I just don't think he wants to get a deal done" (Roy Cummings, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/7). TORONTO: Maple Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher: "To date, I would suggest the indications are that (Goodenow) sure as hell isn't in any hurry" (Damien Cox, TORONTO STAR, 10/7). WASHINGTON: The "normally diplomatic" Capitals GM David Poile, on Goodenow: "It's not like saying, 'OK, come on. Let's go in and make a deal today. Let's come up with some ideas.' It's just, 'What do you have? No, that's not good enough. See ya later'" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/7). Poile also linked the two unions: "I think, in some demented fashion, Bob Goodenow and Donald Fehr want to bring pro sports to their knees. ... If baseball had a deal today, we'd have a deal today. I don't think it's a coincidence that their tactics are so similar" (Baltimore SUN, 10/7). WINNIPEG: Jets President Barry Shenkarow: "Look at baseball. They've had eight strikes in 24 years. Mr. Goodenow has been with hockey how long (about three years)? And we've had two work stoppages. What is it he wants? Does he want to follow Mr. Fehr's path? Or does he want to sit down and negotiate?" (Ed Willes, WINNIPEG SUN, 10/7). LABOR'S RESPONSE: Goodenow: "As far as Donald Fehr and I working in concert, the two situations are quite different, and the idea is totally untrue." MLBA special assistant Mark Belanger: "If we were looking for theories we could suggest -- but we're not -- that maybe the owners designed it this way" (Sandra McKee, Baltimore SUN, 10/7).