SBD/2/Leagues Governing Bodies

PHILADELPHIA COURT GIVES GO-AHEAD ON SUIT AGAINST NHL

          A U.S District Court judge in Philadelphia has allowed
     a lawsuit, filed by five former NHL players against the NHL,
     former league president John Zeigler and NHLPA founder Alan
     Eagleson, to proceed, according to the PHILADELPHIA
     INQUIRER.  The suit "accuses the league of breaching its
     duty" by allowing Eagleson "to act unchecked" in negotiating
     with the league and its players.  The first pretrial
     conference in the case will be held today (PHILADELPHIA
     INQUIRER, 2/1).  In Montreal, Ted Blackman called the
     Philadelphia ruling a potential "billion-dollar hockey
     bombshell," with results that "could hurt the NHL worse than
     the $300-million hit baseball took for collusion." 
     Blackman: "How much worse?  Roughly, given a maximum
     players' victory, $52 million per team!  Or bankruptcy for
     several teams and chaos for the rest" (GAZETTE, 2/1).
          OTHER NEWS: NHL GMs meet in Scottsdale, AZ, this week
     for their annual mid-season meetings, with potential rule
     changes expected to be "hotly debated" (TORONTO STAR, 2/1).
     ...On ESPN's "The Sports Reporters," Bob Ryan noted the
     quality of regular-season play, and said, "No game has
     inflicted more aesthetic misery on its most knowledgeable
     followers than NHL hockey.  If they're lucky, the Olympics
     will shame these who control the game into acknowledging the
     basic mess the day-to-day the NHL has become" (ESPN, 2/1).  
     
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