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HOCKEY RELEASED! WINNERS, LOSERS AND OTHER FALLOUT
Published January 12, 1995
Reactions on the deal from several NHL cities: IN NEW YORK, MIKE LUPICA credits Bettman with saving the season: "It does not make Bettman some kind of hero. He never lost a paycheck here. He had to work for his votes every step of the way. But if he did not rough up Goodenow, if he did not rough up his owners sometimes, especially the owners who were perfectly willing to shut down this season for good, then hockey is gone" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 1/12). THE N.Y. POST scores it "Owners By Knockout," but LARRY BROOKS scores it "E.G. Error, Goodenow" (N.Y. POST, 1/12). RANGERS GOALIE GLENN HEALY: "We got killed, but we had to do this in order to play hockey this year" (Mult., 1/12). IN TAMPA, LIGHTNING GOVERNOR DAVID LEFEVRE: "We didn't get everything we wanted, but it is a good deal for us. We've got a system that will slow down the escalation of salaries. The only gain they made was in unrestricted free agency. And most players retire by the time they are 32" (Cammy Clark, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/12). IN DETROIT, CYNTHIA LAMBERT & LYNN HENNING: "The players gave up a ton, but they can still be considered the victors. Why? NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman promised the owners a salary cap." RED WINGS OWNER MIKE ILITCH: "I'll go along with this. You have to respect what the whole group wants, but this isn't going to work, not in the long run" (DETROIT NEWS, 1/12). IN CHICAGO, BLACKHAWKS GM BOB PULFORD: "I think the reason we went to the lockout was because we needed a deterrent on salaries and we didn't get that" (Robert Markus, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/12). IN SAN JOSE, SHARKS DIR OF HOCKEY OPS DEAN LOMBARDI: "We're back at the starting gate and our wheels aren't spinning yet. But I don't think it's irreparable harm; it just means our jobs are harder" (S.J. MERCURY NEWS, 1/12). IN DALLAS, TERRY EGAN writes, "In a sense, there is a new beginning for hockey in Dallas." STARS OWNER JIM LITES: "I hope it's a mending time" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/12). IN TORONTO, MAPLE LEAFS PRESIDENT & GM CLIFF FLETCHER: "I think I can say without going off the deep end, it probably will be the best collective bargaining agreement of all the four major professional sports. It'll be the only one that doesn't include a tax or a cap and does include some arbitration and some free agency for veteran players." DAVID SHOALTS & BRIAN MILNER write that the consensus is that Bettman "has emerged as a big winner," but that opinion on Goodenow "is much more divided." The players may be the "biggest losers" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/12). AL STRACHAN writes that, by the time the deal expires, the NHL "will no longer be the dominant hockey league in the world. ... As long as the players have nowhere else to play, then they have to put up with the salary limitation imposed by the new CBA. But there is every indication that the players may soon have other options." Strachan notes the IHL and a possible European league (TORONTO SUN, 1/12). IN BOSTON, BRUINS PRESIDENT & GM HARRY SINDEN: "I think [the fans] lost. I don't think the sport was well-served by a 103-day shutdown." BRUIN CAM NEELY: "It's pretty evident the owners basically want to control you from the time you're 18 until the time you're 32." HERALD headline: "NHLPA bails out owners" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/12). Kevin Paul Dupont writes the players "got what they wished for and now will have to live with it. ... They held off a cap and slipped on a straitjacket" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/12). IN WASHINGTON, TONY KORNHEISER writes, "The owners lost. The players lost. The fans lost. The NBA won." CAPITALS PRESIDENT DICK PATRICK: "I'd say the players won. ... We didn't accomplish what we were after" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/12). CAPS OWNER ABE POLLIN: "I believe we could have gotten a deal that would have been fairer, not better but fairer, for the owners as well as the players" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/12). IN ST. LOUIS, BLUES' BRENDAN SHANAHAN: "They bent a little. We bent more" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/12). NHLPA VP MARTY MCSORLEY: "The players will have to be tougher next time, better educated on the issues and more wary of the opposition" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/12). IN L.A., HELENE ELLIOTT writes, "It wasn't worth it. Nobody won" (L.A. TIMES, 1/12). WAYNE GRETZKY: "There's still a free market, that was most important and I think it was vital for Mr. Goodenow to take that back to the players union. ... [The owners] didn't get a salary cap which they wanted in the beginning, but I think that they really got a drag on salaries" ("SportsCenter, ESPN, 1/11). IN OTTAWA, ROY MACGREGOR calls Goodenow a "big-time winner. ... Goodenow took on, and beat, the salary cap. The owners were able to take away some, but not nearly what they had counted on." Bettman had "three months of victory, two days of being kicked in the stomach. He took charge, the owners took it back" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 1/12). OILERS OWNER PETER POCKLINGTON, who voted against the deal: "Gary [Bettman] did a hell of a deal. He's the greatest breath of fresh air this league has ever seen" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 1/12). IN VANCOUVER, TONY GALLAGHER writes, "The owners won this thing so cleanly it's obscene. But have they won too much? Will the restrictive rookie salary cap spawn a competitive league which so many agents feel is soon to be a reality? ... The IHL only has to lift its salary cap and say, 'let's go'" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 1/12). ESPN'S AL MORGANTI: "This was a matter of how much would be taken away from [the players]. They got hammered pretty well in arbitration, they got hammered in other areas, they got a rookie cap. On the other hand, the banner they chose to fight under was no tax, no cap. They can have their victory dance over that" ("SportsCenter," 1/11). HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR PAUL WEILER said the rookie cap will have a positive effect on the salary structure for the owners: "The salary patterns that are set by those rookies filter all through the rest of the salary structure for the veteran players" ("World News Tonight," ABC, 1/11).