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HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 34: THE EVER-SHRINKING SEASON
Published November 3, 1994
The NHL canceled 10 more games per team and "worked on plans for a 50-game season with a completely new schedule matching teams solely against conference opponents. That schedule, which reflects the minimum number of games the league says would constitute a meaningful season, would take effect if the lockout ended by mid- or late December." But, "there are no indications" that the labor dispute will be resolved in time to "salvage" 50 games (Helene Elliott, L.A. TIMES, 11/3). Bruins President & GM Harry Sinden: "To sit here and realistically think we're going to play a 70- or even 60-game schedule, you're kidding yourselves." Sinden, on the lack of progress: "It can't go on like this" (Nancy Marrapese, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/3). Sinden, who was optimistic after Monday's 5-hour session: "I'm Mr. Doomsday today" (Joe Gordon, BOSTON HERALD, 11/3). The "death watch" for the season has begun (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN, 11/3) PLAYERS' MEETING: More than 200 members of the NHLPA met in Toronto yesterday for an "informational session." But columnist Roy MacGregor writes it was "far more an emergency solidarity show amidst rabid rumors that cracks were beginning to form" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 11/3). One agent present at the meeting: "I think the players finally got a grip on the fact that there might not be any hockey this year" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES, 11/3). "If management had been expecting the players to fold, it is time to reassess its strategy" (Larry Brooks, N.Y. POST, 11/3). PLAYOFFS? WHAT PLAYOFFS? One of the possibilities discussed by the players was a "union-ordered cancellation of playoff games" (Joe LaPointe, N.Y. TIMES, 11/3). EUROPEAN VACATION: One issue dividing players is the exodus to Europe. Brett Hull called on players to stay home: "I'm a little upset right now at some of the Europeans going home to play before we had a chance to discuss it, but that's their decision" (ESPN, 11/2). TAKING SIDES: In New York, Larry Brooks writes that the economic arguments force him to take the owners' side in the dispute. But he is highly critical of the league's job selling its proposal. "It is time for [NHL Commissioner Gary] Bettman to buy 60 minutes on CBC or TSN in Canada and the same time on ESPN in the States to explain his program to the players. ... I do not want to hear name-calling or posturing. I want to hear his vision of growth for the league and its players" (N.Y. POST, 11/3).