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HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 38: TALKS TO RESUME THIS WEEK
Published November 7, 1994
While meetings between the NHL and its players' union are expected to resume this week, "it's unclear where and when." NHL Senior VP & COO Steve Solomon was quoted in Europe over the weekend saying the deadline for a deal might be December 15. Maple Leafs President Cliff Fletcher was hopeful the next round of talks might be more productive: "There should be a little greater sense of urgency. I think we've gone through a certain stage where both sides now realize the resolve of the other side. Now it's time to make a deal" (Damien Cox, TORONTO STAR, 11/7). NHLPA-SPONSORED GAMES: According to a report in this morning's TORONTO STAR, there are plans for an expanded tournament of locked-out NHL players starting in December. The games will be held in non-NHL arenas in Quebec, Ontario and Western Canada, with U.S. arenas that were to host neutral-site NHL games also reported to be possible sites. CTV would broadcast the games in Canada, with ESPN and ESPN2 possibly carrying games -- "if and when" the tourney expands to the U.S. (Frank Orr, TORONTO STAR, 11/7). NHLPA Pres. Mike Gartner said the charity games could "eventually wind up benefitting" the NHLPA, if the lockout fund drops too low (Gary Miles, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/6). FROM RUSSIA WITH DISGUST: While the Russian Dream team was a major success among Russian hockey fans, several of the players "complained about the tepid participation of American corporate sponsors." Igor Larionov "said he had tried unsuccessfully to enlist Budweiser and others to sponsor the tour, estimated to cost well over $500,000." Sun Microsystems contributed $60,000, and other Russian sponsors, including the city of Moscow, "chipped in" (Alessandra Stanley, N.Y. TIMES, 11/5). THE POWER OF THE GREAT ONE: The IIHF decided to remain neutral in regards to the planned tour of Europe by Wayne Gretzky and other NHL stars. The IIHF will let the local federations decide whether to allow a stop by Gretzky's tour (TORONTO STAR, 11/7). Fasel, on Gretzky's request for support: "What can you do? Nothing. He is so famous, but it is not so easy to organize the games." Gretzky said the response has been "overwhelming," adding, "The next week should shed more light on it" (CP/EDMONTON JOURNAL, 11/5). IT'S GETTING UGLY OUT THERE: Agent Rich Winter's suggestion for a settlement: "Put Bettman and Goodenow out on Lake Superior with hockey sticks and heaters. When the ice melts, the game's over" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/6). In Tampa, Roy Cummings floats the idea that Goodenow is waiting for MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr to get a deal before he gets serious in negotiations. With baseball talks resuming this week, and some predicting a deal by December 1, Cummings writes, "Watch those baseball talks closely. It would seem someone deeply involved in hockey is" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/6). Blues President Jack Quinn: "This is getting serious. If we don't do something in the next two weeks, there's a chance we'll lose the season" (Dave Luecking, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/6). Canadiens President Ronald Corey: "Without the punitive tax, we can't make a deal" (Jack Todd, MONTREAL GAZETTE, 11/5). NHL Dir of Hockey Ops Brian Burke: "These days, I don't have a lot of hope" (Gary Miles, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/6). In New York, Mark Everson writes under, "DROP THE PUCK, BETTMAN": "It is time to admit the lockout failed and play the season under the old deal while talking about a new one" (N.Y. POST, 11/7).