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HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 47: DEADLINES, LAYOFFS & PAY-CUTS
Published November 16, 1994
"It becomes more likely by the hour that there will be no new collective bargaining agreement and the 1994-95 season will not happen," writes Kevin Paul Dupont in this morning's BOSTON GLOBE. According to a league source, the 26 GM's met yesterday and "reconfirmed their stance" in favor of player salary restraints. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow will meet again tomorrow or Friday (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/16). While there was talk that the owners' counterproposal, which Bettman is expected to offer to the union today, will "slash" the NHL's luxury tax in half -- from 122% to 60% -- one union source maintains that "if the owners insist on a salary cap there won't be a season" (Dave Fuller, TORONTO SUN, 11/16). ONLY 30 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL DEADLINE: The NHL is discussing the idea of imposing a December 15 deadline on reaching a collective bargaining agreement. If a deal isn't reached by that date, the season would be canceled. The idea was put forward yesterday by Oilers President & GM Glen Sather (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/16). Sather: "I'm still a firm believer that Bob Goodenow is a kind of guy who is not going to make a deal until there's a concrete day and time that says if a deal isn't done now, there's not going to be a season" (TORONTO SUN, 11/16). LEAGUE FACES FRONT-OFFICE LAYOFFS: The NHL announced plans to lay off 14 full-time and six part-time employees effective December 1, if there's no settlement. Remaining employees, including Bettman, will take a 10% pay cut. Those making less than $30,000 a year, will take a 5% cut (Mult., 11/16). One league source "said some of the laid-off personnel would not be rehired once -- or if -- a deal is struck with the players" (Kevin Paul Dupont, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/16). Goodenow has refused pay during the lockout, but he stands to make as much as $600,000 in '95, almost double his present salary (Dave Fuller, TORONTO SUN, 11/16). THE ALLEGED ROOKIE CAP: NHL Senior VP & General Counsel Jeff Pash brought GM's up to date on the union's latest proposal, "which had been said to include a form of a rookie salary cap." The NHLPA proposal only includes an offer to forego arbitration for a player's first contract and elimination of compensation and equalization clauses for free agents under 24 or with less than five years experience (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/16). FROM THE GM'S: Lightning GM Phil Esposito: "If you're going to be a union -- and I was in the union for 19 years -- then you've got to have an agreement, or don't be a stinking union" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 11/15). Islanders GM Don Maloney: "Everybody is totally supportive of what Gary and the league is trying to accomplish" (Jim Smith, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 11/16). Whalers GM Jim Rutherford: "There's nothing here at this point to indicate that we're going to have a season" (Jeff Jacobs, HARTFORD COURANT, 11/16). Canadiens GM Serge Savard: "For the first time, I am scared the season won't be played" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/16). FINAL COURSE: Bettman on his dinner Monday night with Goodenow: "The food was excellent" (Jim Smith, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 11/16)....David Shoalts estimates that, to this point, the league has lost $166.3M in revenue (not counting the TV deal with Fox), the players have lost $85.4M in salaries, and each team has lost an average of $719,200 in operating income (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/16)....San Jose Mayor Susan Hammer is "pessimistic" that the '95 All-Star Game will be played. San Jose Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce President Steve Tedesco estimates that the overall economic impact for the city could have been in the $40-50M range (Ann Killion, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/16).