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Volume 24 No. 156

Leagues Governing Bodies

     In what Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver termed an "emotional"
meeting, NFL owners approved the NFL Management Council Executive
Committee's (CEC) recommendation for an expansion stocking plan.
The plan awards the Panthers and Jaguars 14 extra draft picks in
'95 and '96, including additional selections in each round of the
April '95 draft. It also allows the teams to start signing free-
agent players not on NFL rosters on December 15, 11 days before
the end of the regular season.  In February '95, a veteran
allocation draft will occur from which the two teams will select
between 30-42 players from the 28 existing rosters (Charles
Chandler, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/29).
     IS EVERYONE HAPPY?  Panthers President Mike McCormack:
"We're pleased with it.  There are some things you don't like.
We didn't get everything we wanted.  But it's a plan we can live
with."  Panthers GM Bill Polian called the extra draft picks
"huge" (Charles Chandler, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/29).  Wayne
Weaver: "Having 10 picks in the first three rounds, that is
really big" (Gordon Forbes, USA TODAY, 9/29).  Chiefs GM Carl
Peterson called it "an extremely fair and generous stocking
plan":  "I think both expansion teams should be very happy"
(WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/29).
     REALIGNMENT EXAMINED:  The realignment "logjam" continued,
"furthering the likelihood" the Panthers will be slotted in the
NFC West and the Jaguars in the AFC Central, "with no movement of
existing teams."  McCormack said owners "are all for it until
they have to move."  Cowboys owner Jerry Jones feels because of
the "complexities involved with realignment," he foresees no
changes (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/29).  The league is examining six
plans ranging from slotting the two teams in the current 4-team
divisions to having nine teams total changing divisions,
including four conference changes (Gordon Forbes, USA TODAY,
9/29).  In Tampa, Pat Yasinkas sees the chances of the Bucs
moving to the NFC or AFC East "on the rise" (TAMPA TRIBUNE,
9/29).
     COOKE CLEAR TO MOVE: The owners approved the Redskins'
request to move from RFK Stadium in DC to a proposed new 78,600-
seat stadium in Laurel, MD.  The vote was "not unanimous, with
several teams, including the Rams, abstaining."  Commissioner
Paul Tagliabue emphasized that the vote would have no impact on
Baltimore's plans to get a team (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON
POST, 9/29).

     MONTREAL:  David Johnston writes that Bettman "is poised to
become the first person in the history of hockey not to get a
two-minute penalty for blatant delay of game" (MONTREAL GAZETTE,
9/29).
     TORONTO:  Christie Blatchford writes that Bettman "doesn't
understand our [Canadian] culture, the hockey culture, and makes
virtually no effort now to disguise his lack of interest."
Blatchford warns that Bettman "better not push his luck": "If the
Commissioner wants a fight, he shall have it.  He may not be able
to tiptoe through the blood so easily" (TORONTO SUN, 9/29).
     VANCOUVER:  Mike Beamish calls Bettman a "mouse who can
roar" (VANCOUVER SUN, 9/29).
     NEW YORK:  Joe LaPointe writes: "Although somewhat
understandable, the personal criticism of Bettman is somewhat
simplistic" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/29).  Frank Brown: "Starting the
season without an agreement is suicide" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/29).
Larry Brooks criticizes the NHLPA: "This union's righteous stance
against negotiating a cap on its members' income has no basis in
real collective-bargaining history."  Brooks adds:  "The fehr
[sic] of many NHL management people is being realized:  that
Goodenow is more concerned with his and his union's image with
Major League Baseball Players' Association executive director Don
Fehr and his striking ballplayers than he is in working with
ownership to carve an agreement" (N.Y. POST, 9/29).
     FLORIDA:  In Miami, David Neal notes that you do not "shoot
yourself in the foot then scream 'Medic!'  You slap a field
dressing on there": "Which is why Bettman is failing the NHL as
field officer by calling for a lockout and rationalizing it by
saying he doesn't want to end this labor dispute with a short-
term solution, but rather one that will help hockey in the long
term" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/29).
     BOSTON:  Kevin Paul Dupont offers a positive profile of
Bettman and credits him for getting hockey "in the race for the
American sports dollar" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/29).  But Michael Gee
criticizes Bettman and NHL owners for fighting over money that
isn't there yet:  "Winning back old customers after a work
stoppage is difficult.  Winning new customers without a product
to give them is impossible" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/29).
     LOS ANGELES:  Ron Rappoport writes: "Tell the truth now.
Bettman is secretly still working for the National Basketball
Association, right?" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/28).

     NBPA Exec Dir Charles Grantham said the union will seek to
put on its own games should the NBA lock out its players at or
near the start of the '94-95 season in November.  Grantham:  "My
reaction is that we'll just have to show basketball in a
different way.  We'll play our own games, and, hopefully, we'll
get them on television.  If they're preventing us from working,
then that gives us the right to play elsewhere.  If they, in
fact, move to lock the players out, we would go elsewhere."  A
source within NBA management told the BOSTON HERALD that any
lockout is not likely until Thanksgiving (Steve Bulpett, BOSTON
HERALD, 9/28).  Rudy Martzke reports that CBS college basketball
announcer Billy Packer said he has let the NBPA know that "he'd
like to be involved in arranging for telecasts of 'alternative
games.'"  Packer:  "This is business, like a hundred things I'm
doing.  But whatever anybody says, I'm acting on behalf of Billy
Packer, not CBS Sports."  But CBS Sports Senior VP Rick Gentile
"unequivocally" denies a report that CBS and ESPN have a deal to
televise 10 charity games in case of a lockout.  NBC Sports
President Dick Ebersol, whose network carries the NBA:  "I don't
know where Billy gets the time for this.  I thought he spent most
of his time in airports, hanging around with bowlers and trying
to find out who's more popular, him or the bowlers."  NBA Deputy
Commissioner Russ Granik:  "There is no lockout, so there is no
reason to engage in any debate about the consequences of a
lockout" (USA TODAY, 9/29).

     The NFLPA and four Eagles players whose salaries were cut as
much as 30% last month are taking the club to arbitration in an
effort to regain lost wages.  Attorney Shepard Goldfein of the NY
Bar Association's Sports Law Committee is scheduled to arbitrate
the case on October 11.  According to NFLPA Asst Exec Dir Doug
Allen, the union seeks to have salaries restored to previously
negotiated figures (Kevin Mulligan, PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 9/28).

     In New York, Larry Brooks reports that the plan rejected bythe NHLPA would have created a minimum team salary as well asrestraints on spending.  Currently, there is a $14M gap betweenthe highest-spending team and the lowest (N.Y. POST, 9/29).  Thefollowing is a list of 1994-95 calculated team payrolls astabulated by THE HOCKEY NEWS.  The payrolls below are not final,as several teams have significant players yet to sign (HOCKEYNEWS, 9/30 issue).
FIGURES IN MILLIONS
TEAM
PAYROLL
TEAM
PAYROLL
1 Blues
$23.52
14 Flyers
$14.08
2 Kings
$23.43
15 Calgary
$13.96
3 Penguins
$20.13
16 Caps
$13.59
4 Detroit
$19.16
17 Quebec
$13.47
5 Sabres^
$18.96
18 Montreal
$12.91
6 Rangers^
$18.04
19 Bruins
$12.71
7 Chicago
$17.85
20 Islanders
$12.68
8 Canucks
$17.16
21 Anaheim
$12.59
9 Toronto
$16.51
22 Florida
$11.66
10 Devils
$16.49
23 Sharks
$11.35
11 Whalers
$15.11
24 Lightning
$10.48
12 Dallas
$14.67
25 Ottawa
$9.35
13 Jets
$14.09
26 Oilers
$9.21

 

     NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow yesterday rejected a revisedproposal submitted Tuesday by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.Goodenow said the same problems that existed in previousproposals remain.  With no formal negotiations scheduled today orin the near future, "apparently all that remains" is for Bettmanto officially postpone the start of the season.  Bettman willbrief owners on the talks today and, "barring a major miracle,"will announce Friday that the season will be postponed.  Bettmansaid he "was not surprised" by Goodenow's decision not tocontinue talking: "They said they would let us know when we areready to meet a gain and they have not suggested a meeting orrequested one."  Goodenow "did not hold out any hope" of aupcoming resolution (John MacKinnon, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 9/29).     MAJOR MISCONDUCT FROM CHELIOS:  The dispute "turned ugly"yesterday when the Blackhawks' Chris Chelios warned Bettman that"his life could be in danger if he locks out players" (DaveFuller, TORONTO SUN, 9/29).  Besides the threat, Chelios said theproblem with the negotiations is that Bettman "doesn't knowanything about hockey": "I don't know whether it's this littleman syndrome or what.  He's the problem" ("SportsCenter," ESPN,9/29).  Chelios' criticisms were one of many made by otherplayers "lining up to take pokes" at Bettman.  The Nordiques' JoeSakic said Bettman "knows nothing about hockey and doesn't carewhether there is hockey or not" (TORONTO SUN, 9/29).  The Bruins'Cam Neely:  "They're not shooting themselves in the foot. They'reshooting themselves in the head, if you ask me" ("SportsCenter,"ESPN, 9/28).  The NHL could issue a $500 fine against Chelios(TORONTO SUN, 9/29).  The Sharks' Vlastimil Kroupa said Bettman'sproposal "reminds me a lot of those days in the Soviet Union whenI played for the Russian national team" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS,9/29).     SUPPORT FOR BETTMAN WANING?  In Toronto, Dave Fuller reportsthat NHL sources claim that while Bettman has the public supportof the 26 teams, a "handful of wealthier clubs -- including St.Louis and Chicago -- don't like what's going on" (TORONTO SUN,9/29).  But in Vancouver, Frank Luba reports that the Canuckswill not lose a profitable cash flow due to the upcomingpostponement of the season. "No games means no salaries or rent."Canucks owner Arthur Griffiths contends that despite reaching theStanley Cup finals last season, the club "still managed to makeless than the average player makes": "It's appropriate to take ahard position at this point" (VANCOUVER PROVINCE, 9/29).     LEAGUE WAVES OFF WAIVER DRAFT:  The league yesterdayannounced the postponing of the waiver draft.  According toleague rules, the draft will be held within seven days of thestart of the regular season (Mult, 9/29).     IHL, HERE THEY COME?  IHL PR Dir Tim Bryant told THE SPORTSBUSINESS DAILY that non-affiliated IHL teams may sign some NHLplayers: "We want nothing more than for the NHL to start itsseason.  And we realize it [signing players] is a short-termthing.  But some teams may" (THE DAILY).  NHLPA spokespersonSteve McAllister concurred.  But Capitals GM Dave Poile saidplayers "will not be allowed" to play in the IHL: "The playersare all under contract, whether the season opens or not" (SandraMcKee, Baltimore SUN, 9/29).