SBD/11/Leagues Governing Bodies

HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 42: YOUR MOVE, MR. BETTMAN

     "There was movement on the NHL labor front yesterday, but
not nearly enough to break up the logjam," according to Bob
McKenzie in this morning's TORONTO STAR.  In what NHLPA
negotiating committee member Marty McSorley termed "significant
concessions," the NHLPA reportedly offered to accept some entry-
level salary limitations -- if the league drops its demand for a
payroll tax.  The union would agree to mandatory two-way
contracts (one salary for NHL games, and another if rookies are
sent to the minors) and no salary arbitration for first-year
players.  "The NHL party line, and it's doubtful it changed
yesterday, is that entry-level restrictions alone are not nearly
enough to provide a 'drag' on player salaries" (TORONTO STAR,
11/11).  McSorley:  "We made concessions without giving absolute
numbers as to what people have to accept.  And basically, it was
just short of that" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/11).  One league source
said the players' offer "is not enough" (Dave Fuller, TORONTO
SUN, 11/11).  "Depending on whom you talk to, the two sides are
either making progress or are still miles apart" (Gary Miles,
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/11).  Sharks Player Rep Jeff Norton:
"This is definitely as far as we're going to go" (SAN JOSE
MERCURY NEWS, 11/11).  NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow and McSorley
"make it seem the union is willing to pinch at the front end --
the youngest talent -- but remains unwilling to allow more than a
moderate salary taxation system that only nibbles at the concept
of an overall cap. ... The hawks among the owners undoubtedly
will want to keep the players out until they buy into some real
form of a cap" (Kevin Paul Dupont, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/11).  The two
sides are expected to talk by phone today, with NHL Commissioner
Gary Bettman delivering the owners' response.  The next face-to-
face negotiating session is not expected until next week.
     HIGH HOPES:  At least two team execs "believe the players
could be back on the ice preparing for the start of the season by
the middle or the end of next week."  But one union source said
that Goodenow told some players after the meeting that "a return
to the ice by next week was unrealistic" (Roy Cummings, TAMPA
TRIBUNE, 11/11).  ESPN's Karl Ravech reports the NHL "is
currently working on a 60 game interconference schedule, meaning
each team would only play teams from the east and vice versa in
the west."  ESPN's Steve Levy notes that December 1 "is a day
that could accommodate" the 60-game schedule ("Sports Center,"
11/10).
     FOUR-ON-FOUR:  The opening night of the NHLPA's charity
tournament at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton drew 14,640 fans (Helene
Elliott, L.A. TIMES, 11/11).
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