SBD/16/Leagues Governing Bodies

NHL ALL-STAR WEEKEND SET TO PLAY TO WORLD PARTY

          The NHL announced that the '98 All-Star Game will
     feature a new format with the North American All-Stars
     playing the World All-Stars.  The international game will be
     played on Sunday, January 18, at GM Place in Vancouver. 
     Players from the U.S. and Canada will represent the North
     American team and will face the top players from the rest of
     the world.  All-Star balloting in Canada is sponsored by
     McDonald's and by Russell Athletic in the U.S.  The New
     Dodge is presenting sponsor throughout North America (NHL). 
     In Toronto, Neil Campbell reports that the new format,
     reflecting the international theme of the season, "will
     likely be a one-year wonder."  NHL Senior VP Steve Solomon:
     "We're looking at a one-year event" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/16).  
          OLYMPIC EFFORT: NHL participation in the Olympics and
     the efforts of Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
     Goodenow and IIHF President Rene Fasel to gain approval for
     the plan, are featured by Joe Lapointe of the N.Y. TIMES
     under the header, "The N.H.L.'s Olympic Gamble: Stars
     Participation in Nagano Could Raise Sport's Profile." 
     Lapointe: "When the Olympics arrive, the league will shut
     down for 17 days, an unprecedented hiatus that entails
     numerous calculated business risks.  With the Olympic hockey
     games regulated to late-night [TV], with the national teams
     hastily thrown together, and with the fans back home without
     their regular N.H.L. teams to follow, the whole plan could
     backfire and be remembered as another slip on the ice for a
     sport that never seems to find as broad an audience in the
     United States as its big-league competition."  Bettman:
     "We're going to get exposure like the world has never seen
     for hockey.  This is about 120-plus of the world's elite
     hockey players playing for pride and playing for their
     countries.  It will give us a tournament of high magnitude. 
     It will be quite compelling" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/16). 
          NOTES: In N.Y., Larry Brooks wrote about "rumors that
     the league is attempting to apply some pressure on Disney"
     to sign holdout Paul Kariya of the Mighty Ducks "in order to
     ensure that he'll be with" the team when it opens a two-game
     series in Tokyo.  Brooks: "[W]e discount the veracity of
     those reports. Disney is in the business of applying
     pressure, not receiving it" (N.Y. POST, 9/14).  In Toronto,
     Damien Cox interviews Bettman on a number of league issues,
     including the Kariya talks.  Bettman: "The league doesn't
     get involved in individual player-club negotiations.  But as
     a practical matter, no particular players were promised, and
     the games are sold out anyway" (TORONTO STAR, 9/16).

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