SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies

NHL OK'S NOLAN DEAL, BUT FILES GRIEVANCE OVER LOCKOUT CLAUSE

          In a letter sent to Sharks RW Owen Nolan and forwarded
     to every NHL GM, NHL Exec VP & CLO Bill Daly said the league
     "would grieve a clause" in Nolan's "controversial" five-
     year, $30M contract that gives him the "right to guarantee
     the sixth and club option year" if there is a work stoppage
     during the '04-05 NHL season, according to Eric Duhatschek
     of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.  The clause "in question" does
     not mean Nolan would be paid during a work stoppage, but the
     club option on the final year becomes "a player option as
     well."  Because the NHL dismissed arbitrator Lawrence Holden
     in September, Daly did not "establish a time frame" for the
     grievance process (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/3).  CBS
     SportsLine's Keith Gave wrote that Nolan's contract "stands
     as negotiated" but the NHL will "challenge any future deals"
     with a similar clause (CBS SportsLine, 11/2). In San Jose,
     Victor Chi writes, "It is unclear exactly what the NHL's
     grievance will seek in terms of action.  Will it
     specifically look to overturn the clause in Nolan's
     contract?  That could be tricky because the NHL has approved
     the contract, which would, in essence, leave the league to
     argue against itself. ... Will the league simply look to
     establish a concrete precedence to prevent any other player
     from receiving the Nolan clause?" (MERCURY NEWS, 11/3).  In
     Toronto, Alan Adams writes the NHL "does not want other
     players to request the same language in their contracts
     because it would take the sting out of a lockout" (NATIONAL
     POST, 11/3).  Sharks President Greg Jamison received a call
     from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Daly on Wednesday
     asking Jamison to "clarify the clause," which he believes he
     did "to the league's satisfaction."  Sharks GM Dean Lombardi
     said that the NHL wanted to "make sure" that Nolan would not
     be paid during a work stoppage (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 11/2).
          BRYDEN SAYS NOT IN OUR HOUSE: Senators Chair Rod Bryden
     said that there will not be a lockout protection clause in
     any contract signed with his team.  Bryden: "Forget whatever
     (the league) says.  There won't be any (lockout) clauses in
     any one of our contracts" (OTTAWA SUN, 11/3).

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