SBD/2/Leagues Governing Bodies

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? NHL STARS TO SKATE IN '98 GAMES

     The NHL and NHLPA announced Friday that they had reached
agreement on their participation in the '98 Winter Games in
Nagano, Japan.  The NHL, NHLPA and the IIHF  will conduct a joint
news conference this afternoon to discuss the agreement
(NHL/NHLPA).  To participate in the Games, the league will shut
down its season for 16 days during February '98, with the regular
season staying at 82 games.  A second "major aspect" of the deal
is a regular world tournament, beginning next fall, to replace
the Canada Cup.  The tournament, featuring NHL players from the
six major hockey-playing nations, will be held in North American
cities and will take place every four years between winter
Olympic years (Joe Lapointe, N.Y. TIMES, 9/30).  In Boston, Nancy
Marrapese notes Boston that "even better" than the approval of
NHL players' Olympic participation is the fact that the league's
CBA will be current until 2000.  It was open to renegotiation
after '97-98 (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/1).  NHL Commissioner Gary
Bettman:  "It is something we (NHL and NHLPA) concluded made
sense in the text of growing and building the sport" (TORONTO
SUN, 9/30).
     WHO'S UP, WHO'S DOWN:  In Toronto, Gare Joyce outlines the
winners and losers with the move by the NHL.  "Winners" include
the IOC, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA Dir Bob Goodenow,
CBC and CBS.  "Losers" include Fox and David Hill; and Wayne
Gretzky, Paul Coffey, Ray Bourque and other "high-mileage" stars
(Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/2).
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