SBD/2/Leagues Governing Bodies

NHL-IIHF WRAP UP TALKS ON FUTURE INTERNATIONAL PLAY

     The NHL and the Int'l Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) concluded
two days of meetings Wednesday in Naples, FL.  NHL Commissioner
Gary Bettman and IIHF President Rene Fasel announced a
reaffirmation of the commitment to have NHL players participate
in the '98 Winter Olympics and plans for other international
competitions, including a possible World Cup tournament in '97 as
a prelude to Nagano.  In addition, Bettman and Fasel said that
they were proceeding on plans to develop a "Pan-European Super
League" to begin play no later than September '96 (NHL).  Fasel,
on '98:  "We mapped out a strategy and it's time to do some more
homework."  Part of that "homework" includes attracting NHL
players.  "Who controls international hockey is a major
unresolved collective bargaining issue" between the NHL and
NHLPA.  Int'l hockey is a major revenue source for the players'
pension fund, and both sides realize how much money would be
generated through marketing and licensing if the NHL's stars
played in the '98 Games.  While Fasel apologized to NHLPA Exec
Dir Bob Goodenow for not including the players in earlier talks,
he made it clear that it is Bettman's job to negotiate with the
NHLPA.  Fasel:  "I will talk to my different federations and Gary
has to deal with the players" (CANADIAN PRESS/VANCOUVER SUN,
2/2).
     PENSION BATTLE:  Paul Saunders, Senior VP of Buck
Consultants and an adviser to retired NHL players, testified that
former players are owed $42,160,251 by the league as of February
1, 1995.  The league's estimate is less, due to different
accounting methods.  The Ontario Court of Justice will decide
between the two amounts sometime in March.  The former players
won control of the money when an Ontario court ruled the NHL
Pension Society misappropriated surpluses in '82 and '85
(CP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/2).
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