SBD/8/Leagues Governing Bodies

HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 40: PAYROLL TAXES OFF THE AGENDA

     The NHL and the NHLPA resumed negotiations in New York
yesterday for approximately seven hours.  During the talks, the
two sides reportedly agreed to temporarily halt discussing levies
on club payrolls, "their greatest source of disagreement."
Joining NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow and NHL Commissioner Gary
Bettman were two players, NHLPA President Mike Gartner and NHLPA
VP Ken Baumgartner, and two execs, Flyers GM Bobby Clarke and
Devils GM Lou Lamoriello.  The two sides agreed to meet again on
Thursday, probably in Toronto (Helene Elliott, L.A. TIMES, 11/8).
     OWNERS SOFTENING?  Under pressure from club owners, the NHL
"appears to be softening its stance" toward the NHLPA.  A source
independent of both sides in the dispute contended that league
officials are considering allowing the season to start while they
continue bargaining with the union, a course they have twice
before rejected (L.A. TIMES, 11/8).
     NHLPA HAS "DROP-DEAD" DATE:  A source close to Goodenow told
the N.Y. POST that the players will not agree to play anything
less than a 50-game season to begin no later than the weekend of
January 7-8.  Working back three weeks -- to provide for a re-
training camp -- that would place the NHLPA's "drop-dead" date
for an agreement at approximately December 16 (Larry Brooks, N.Y.
POST, 11/8).
     IHL ON THE RISE:  According to the latest figures released
by the IHL, league attendance has increased by nearly 2,000 fans
per game from this point last season.  The league also reports
that nearly one-third of all IHL games have been played in front
of crowds in excess of 10,000 people.  Chicago Wolves Exec VP
Wayne Messmer conceded that the increase in interest can be
attributed in part to the NHL lockout.  But Messmer insisted that
is only a small part of the reason for increased IHL interest:
"We came up with our marketing plan well in advance of the NHL
work stoppage" (Terry Armour, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/8).
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