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NHL AND ITS PLAYERS UNION IRON OUT "TRANSITION RULES"
Published April 20, 1995
As part of an examination of the labor situations in the major sports leagues, the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES' Brian Hanley offers an update on the ongoing meetings between representatives of the NHL and NHLPA regarding the final details on the new collective bargaining agreement. Lawyers from both sides have been meeting on an average of three times a week for the past three weeks with the hope, according to NHL VP of Public Relations Arthur Pincus, that the work will be done by the end of April. Pincus: "There are a lot of issues that each side has a position on, and they're in the process of checking things off, and it is a pretty substantial checklist. Such things as discipline policy, drug and alcohol policy. ... We might not have a signed document by the end of the month, but we hope to have all issues agreed upon and have letters of agreement by then." Both Pincus and NHLPA spokesperson Steve McAllister denied rumors that the tentative agreement, signed on January 13, was in danger. Of the issues, the "most contentious" are those concerning the marketing and TV money expected from NHL participation in the '98 Olympics as well as scheduling for the Games (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/20). BETTMAN PROFILE: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is the subject of a WASHINGTON POST profile. Bettman, on charges he doesn't understand the game: "I go to tons of games and I watch tons of games on television. And I can sit with the general managers in the rules discussion, listen, understand and -- oh, my God -- even participate. Does that mean I could be a general manager? Absolutely not. Does that mean I could coach? Absolutely not. Does that mean I could play? Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely not. But I wasn't hired to do any of those three things. Can I make a deal? Can I handle the league in a labor dispute? Can I make a TV deal? Can I get a P.R. department to function in ways that it hasn't before? You make your own judgment. Those are the things I have to do" (Dave Sell, WASHINGTON POST, 4/20).