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Volume 24 No. 135
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     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,
     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).