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HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 40: PAYROLL TAXES OFF THE AGENDA
Published November 8, 1994
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).