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Volume 24 No. 156
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     The NHLPA negotiating team, in an effort to avoid an owners'
lockout, will be pressing "new concepts" today in meetings with
the league "that should be a bellweather for the rest of the
talks leading up" to the October 1 season opener.  NHLPA
President Mike Gartner: "What we'll come away with is just how
serious the league is.  Is there an air of compromise or is there
another agenda?"  Gartner and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow
"refused to get into specifics of today's talks," though Gartner
"implored" NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and his lawyers to
"carefully study what the players are putting forward."  There
has been talk of "reworking" the owners' idea of a salary cap and
creating a "luxury tax," to be paid by clubs which exceed a pre-
set spending limit to those who don't (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN,
9/16).  However, the players "dismiss" many of the proposals by
the league as "salary caps in disguise."  Although this is the
first meeting between Bettman and Goodenow in more than a week,
"it is unlikely anything earth shattering will immediately come
out" today.  "A more likely scenario would see the NHL study any
new proposal through the weekend" (Paul Hunter, TORONTO STAR,
     WHY LOCK EM' OUT?  Whalers co-owner Jim Rutherford: "What
everyone's looking at is the window of opportunity for hockey
with them not having to compete with the World Series.  If you
look at that on a short term, you say, 'Geez, yeah, that is an
opportunity.'  But I don't believe that any sport, especially
hockey, can look at it on the short term.  They have to fix what
the problems are related to the economics of the game" (Viv
Bernstein, HARTFORD COURANT, 9/16).  In Detroit, Keith Gave
notes, "In a battle over public sentiment -- which frequently
influences how labor disagreements are settled -- the players
already are overwhelming winners" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 9/15).
     ADVANCED EXPOSURE  Header over Joe LaPointe's column: "This
October, Hockey has The Stage."  LaPointe notes that the only
athlete spotted at the MTV awards last week was the Rangers Mark
Messier (N.Y. TIMES, 9/16).
     STEEL EYES:  Penguin players are refusing to make TV
appearances to promote ticket and merchandise sales until the
league and union negotiated a new deal (mult., 9/16).