SBD/4/Leagues Governing Bodies

NHL GM'S SEEK TO REGAIN THEIR ROLE IN SCHEDULING DECISIONS

     During the tenure of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, league
GMs "have seen much of their power over league affairs ceded to
the governors and league executives," according to David Shoalts
of the GLOBE & MAIL.  Past complaints focused on rule changes,
but when they meet in Tucson on February 5, Shoalts predicts the
issue will be scheduling.  GMs are unhappy with the amount of
travel and distribution of home dates.  Maple Leafs President &
GM Cliff Fletcher:  "Each team has its own philosophy when it
comes to the schedule.  Some teams want to maximize gate
receipts, so they'll ask for certain dates.  Others want a
maximum competitive advantage, and others want to maximize their
TV schedule.  Now the league has taken teams out of the picture
on the schedule."  Under Bettman, former NHL Dir of
Administration Phil Scheuer was let go in favor of a fully
computerized system.  League officials note that teams are
allowed to present preferred dates before the schedule is done
and can request changes after.  The league acknowledges the
complaints, but the system is unlikely "to undergo any radical
changes" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/4).
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