SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies

HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 32: NO GAINS IN LAND O' GRIDLOCK

     "Another Monday, another secret meeting, another report of
no progress," reports Murray Chass in this morning's N.Y. TIMES.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow and
officials from both sides met yesterday for about five hours at
an undisclosed location in Washington.  "League officials were
left with nothing to do but cancel more games.  They are expected
to do that today and perhaps tomorrow" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/1).  "The
lack of movement serves as a fitting backdrop for the next round
of cancellations" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 11/1).  NHL
spokesperson Andy McGowan "said the two sides have agreed to meet
again this week, although no time or location was specified"
(Nancy Marrapese, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/1).  With the NHLPA set to
hold an informational meeting for its membership tomorrow in
Toronto, "yesterday seemed the perfect opportunity for the NHL to
offer the union a proposal to consider in timely fashion" (Mark
Everson, N.Y. POST, 11/1).
     KEENAN WANTS IN:  Blues Coach/GM Mike Keenan suggests that
some GMs join the talks. Keenan:  "It's my belief that given the
stalemate and atmosphere of distrust between the parties, it's
time to step back, reload and perhaps get back to the table with
a different group.  It's possible now that the negotiators are
fatigued.  Or maybe they lack the imagination to move forward.
... [But] Gary told me that he preferred to leave matters with
himself and the league negotiating committee" (Larry Brooks, N.Y.
POST, 11/1).
     THE STAKES:  In L.A., Helene Elliott outlines the dangers
the league faces:  "The hard-core fans will return, but the
casual fans, the ones the NHL needs to broaden its scope, are
disillusioned and unlikely to return. ... It's painful to say,
but maybe hockey's critics have been right all along.  Maybe it
is a minor sport.  Bettman has a major problem if he thinks
killing the season is the way to make the game grow" (L.A. TIMES,
11/1).
     OTHER NEWS & NOTES:  Doug Gilmour has decided to play in
Switzerland (CP/OTTAWA CITIZEN, 11/1).  In Toronto, William
Houston asks how long players such as Gilmour (with "few peak
money-making years ahead of him) can afford to stay out.  "Owners
are counting that he, and others in similar circumstances,
cannot" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/1).  Oilers President & GM Glen
Sather was critical of the players' exhibitions:  "Let's solve
the problem instead of working on this big PR deal" (HARTFORD
COURANT, 11/1).
     CLARIFICATION:  Yesterday's SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY summary of
a piece by Len Hochberg of the WASHINGTON POST on the dispute
over the NHL's financial data should have noted that Goodenow's
statement ("To be candid, we are skeptical of the quality of
information you might provide") was not in direct response to the
league.  Rather, it preceded the league's offer to start the
season if the union would agree to an independent audit of the
financial records.
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