SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies

HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 34: THE EVER-SHRINKING SEASON

     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).
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