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HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 32: NO GAINS IN LAND O' GRIDLOCK
Published November 1, 1994
"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.