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Volume 24 No. 114
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     Blackhawk Chris Chelios called the NHL league office to
apologize for his comments that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman or
his family could be endangered should there be a lockout,
according to NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow.  Goodenow:  "Obviously,
it's a stressful situation for everyone involved.  This is not to
condone improper behavior."  Chelios' call was taken by NHL
Senior VP & General Counsel Jeff Pash, but as of last night
Chelios had not spoken to Bettman.  NHL VP Commuications Arthur
Pincus:  "In times like this, we understand that people say
things that they may not mean.  We hope that this is the case
here" (Joe LaPointe, N.Y. TIMES, 9/30).  Chelios did not talk to
the media on Thursday.  NHLPA Media Relation Dir Steve
McAllister:  "It's impossible for us to control what 600 hockey
players might say" (Terry Armour, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/30).  In Los
Angeles, Mike Downey writes, "Although I cannot condone such
sentiments, bilious as they are, I can almost understand young
Chelios' rage."  He does add, however:  "Chris has apparently
been to one too many Martin Scorcese movies" (L.A. TIMES, 9/30).
ESPN analyst Al Morganti said that "nobody likes Chris Chelios
throwing those kinds of words," but that his comments haven't
"changed the philosophy of the situation"  ("SportsCenter," ESPN,
9/29).  Pincus said the league has no plans to fine Chelios
(Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 9/30).
     PLAYERS STICK BY HIM:  Alan Lessels reports that comments
about Bettman in the Bruins' locker room were pointed, but that
Chelios "went a step -- or three, or four -- further."  Bruin Ray
Bourque:  "Chris got a little emotional there" (BOSTON GLOBE,
9/30).  "Many of the Flyers, while not endorsing the length to
which Chelios went, blasted Bettman on their own."  Eric Lindros:
"He deserves it" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/30).
"Basically, the idea is to attack the union when they feel the
union is at its weakest.  I think they want to put the players in
their place, gain control and be able to reap the benefits"
("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/30).  Gretzky said Bettman
underestimated the players' resolve: "It's a strong union" (Al
Strachan, TORONTO SUN, 9/30).  Ranger Jay Wells on Bettman:
"He'll get his some day.  Some punk comes in who never sweated a
day in his life trying to revamp the league" (Mark Everson, N.Y.
POST, 9/30).  One NHLPA source: "Bettman's saying publicly that
he's concerned about the Canadian small markets, but it's a lie.
He told Bob (Goodenow) he didn't care about them at all" (N.Y.
POST, 9/30).  Blackhawk Bernie Nicholls said he "nearly puked"
when he saw "Bettman's smiling picture" on Wednesday (Tony
Gallagher, Vancouver PROVINCE, 9/30).  Maple Leaf Todd Gill said
Bettman is "taking food out of my family's mouths": "The man has
no idea about hockey.  He's a businessman" (TORONTO SUN, 9/30).
Canuck Sergio Momesso:  "Money is what it's all about -- nothing
else" (VANCOUVER SUN, 9/30).
     HOLLYWOOD HERE WE COME:  The NHLPA gave Penguin players
permission to appear in scenes from Jean-Claude Van Damme's
"Sudden Death."  The players skate tomorrow in the Igloo and will
play a simulated game while Van Damme tries to save the Igloo
from terrorists (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/30).