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HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 74: GUVS HAND BETTMAN THE GUN
Published December 13, 1994
The NHL Board of Governors voted unanimously to reject the latest offer from the NHLPA, but directed NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the negotiating committee to continue the collective bargaining process. In addition, Bettman was given the authority to cancel the season if no CBA is reached in time to play a 50- game regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs by July 1 (NHL). Bettman: "This is not about a league fighting with the union. This is about a league fighting for its future" (Mult., 12/13). REAX: Bruins GM & President Harry Sinden: "You don't get 26 owners to shut down a business if it's healthy" (Nancy Marrapese, BOSTON GLOBE, 12/13). Oilers Owner Peter Pocklington: "Baseball had a drop-dead date, and look what happened. It dropped dead" (Mult., 12/13). Lightning GM Phil Esposito, on a "drop-dead date": "There's no reason for it. Sooner or later, the day will come when we can't go any further, and that decision will be made by Mr. Bettman" (Roy Cummings, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/13). "It's almost certain there will be no season unless either the players or owners are prepared to make a 180-degree turn. Yesterday, neither side seemed interested in compromise" (Fuller & Hornby, TORONTO SUN, 12/13). "If the season is indeed cancelled, the blood will be on the gloves of Gary Bettman" (Gare Joyce, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/13). "There is no Dove owner willing enough or powerful enough to pull the switch that will allow either side to gracefully avoid a collision of potentially thunderous and long-ranging impact" (Kent Gilchrist, Vancouver PROVINCE, 12/13). NHL Senior VP & Dir of Hockey Ops Brian Burke: "The owners are the ones who will cancel the season, but the players are the one who won't agree to a deal that makes sense" (Mark Everson, N.Y. POST, 12/13). "If 50 is really the minimum number of games required for an NHL season to happen, then lots of time still remain to cut a deal -- maybe more than two weeks" (Damien Cox, TORONTO STAR, 12/13). ESPN's Al Morganti: "It could very well be that this is just another phase in the posturing by either side in these negotiations. But if they are playing a game of chicken, they are getting dangerously close to the deadline" ("SportsCenter," 12/12) NEXT SESSION: Talks could begin again tomorrow, possibly in New York (Joe Gordon, BOSTON HERALD, 12/13).