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Volume 24 No. 157

Leagues Governing Bodies

     After finishing the '94 season with a sell-out crowd for
Game 3 of the League's championship series, the CISL announced
its happiness with their progress as a league.
     ATTENDANCE:  More than 1M fans attended CISL games during
the '94 regular season for an average of 5,203 fans per game.
The CISL had 12 crowds of more than 10,000, a 600% increase over
the '93 season.  The Detroit Neon led the way, averaging 9,379 a
game.
     EXPANSION:  The CISL feels they established a national
presence with the addition of teams in markets such as Charlotte,
Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, San Jose and Washington,
DC.  Seattle and Mexico City are expected to join the league next
year.
     NHL/NBA AFFILIATIONS:  The league continued to add to its
ownership with the addition of the following NBA and NHL partners
during the past year:  Pistons, Penguins, Sharks, Supersonics,
Bullets and Capitals.
     SPONSORSHIP MONEY:  The Detroit Neon, besides leading the
league in attendance, also led in corporate sponsorships with
nearly $1M generated.  Chrysler was the team's title sponsor,
providing the nickname "Neon" (THE DAILY).

     Central Hockey League founder and president Ray Miron
attributes the success of his "very minor league outfit" to the
fact that there are no local team owners.   The league owns all
seven CHL teams and, at $7-10 a ticket, keeps all gate revenues
allowing the arenas to keep nearly all concession revenues.  Last
year, The CHL netted more than $1M off of revenues of $10.6M,
drawing an average attendance of 5,900/game.  Miron claims that
several investors have approached him and have offered him more
than $1M for a new CHL franchise, but Miron has declined such
offers because he firmly believes that new owners will drive up
salaries and drive down profits: "It's more profitable this way.
And it's a lot fewer headaches" (Lee Sullivan, FORBES, 10/24).

     FORBES examines the "supply and demand" potential of the
CFL.  After losing money, Commissioner Larry Smith decided to
"improve management."  He recruited new owners for five teams,
imposed a salary cap of $2M per team and brought "smart
management and smart marketing" to the league.  While further
U.S. expansion (10 or 12 U.S. teams by '97) is planned, Smith
won't move into "cities that have an NFL team, games are mostly
played on Friday nights to avoid college and NFL schedules, and
the season begins and ends two months before the NFL's."  Smith
has doubled entry fees from $3M to $6M (Randall Lane, FORBES,
10/24 issue).
     BALTIMORE NAME GAME:  Baltimore's CFL owner Jim Speros "has
initiated talks with the NFL aimed a producing an out-of-court
settlement" over the Colts name.  Speros does not want an
expensive trial against the NFL and did acknowledge a settlement
"may leave his team unable to use the cherished Colts name" (Jon
Morgan, BALTIMORE SUN, 10/12).

     NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "indefinitely delayed the
start of the season ... calling the last proposal by the players
union 'a step backward' and questioning its good faith."  NHLPA
Exec Dir Bob Goodenow "contended that Bettman's interpretation
'just highlights our differences,' adding, 'It looks awfully
difficult for us to be making progress in the near future.  We've
always told the players that this could be a long situation.
Long could be months or a year" (Helene Elliott, L.A. TIMES,
10/12).
     FROM BETTMAN:  "Until the union is willing to address our
needs, and come back to us with a system that is sensible and
allows us to grow, there seems to be little common ground" (THE
DAILY).
     FROM GOODENOW:  "Until the owners appreciate that the
players are completely opposed to the NHL's take-away demands, we
will have little to discuss" (THE DAILY).
     WHAT NOW?  In Tampa, Roy Cummings writes that neither side
has made its best offer.  One league source "admitted as much
Tuesday when he said the NHL eventually could drop its 122
percent tax proposal to around 50 percent" (TAMPA TRIBUNE,
10/12).  But NHLPA President Mike Gartner says:  "We've got
nothing more to bring to the table" (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN,
10/12).  Bettman:  "Mike Gartner said to me yesterday that he
knows their last offer didn't address our needs.  There still a
way to go in this process" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 10/11).
ESPN's Al Morganti: "Not only was there unanimity in that board
meeting today, but I talked to several owners who are convinced
the NHL has already gone too far in what they offered the
players" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/11).  That leaves open the
possibility the league "could withdraw the proposal or alter it
in a direction away from the union's proposal" (Murray Chass,
N.Y. TIMES, 10/12).  TORONTO SUN's Al Strachan raises the idea
that limits on arbitration and a rookie salary cap may be the
owners' "hidden agenda," an idea echoed by Toronto GLOBE & MAIL's
David Shoalts.
     EYES ON THE "I":  Goodenow said the IHL and other leagues
"may very well be an option" for players locked-out of the NHL.
"And we will now look at those issues as they arise."  Bettman
addressed the notion of players jumping leagues:  "If players are
prepared to play for $1,000 a game in the IHL and risk their
careers in injury, I'm not sure why they don't want to come to
play in the NHL under a system that makes sense and treats them
fairly" (THE DAILY).  IHL Chicago Wolves President & GM Grant
Mulvey:  "I don't know what they're doing and I don't think as of
right now they even know what they're going to do."  Mulvey held
open the option of signing some NHLers (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/12).
     OTHER MINOR ALTERNATIVES:  AHL President of Hockey
Operations Gordie Anziano noted the AHL is a developmental league
for the NHL:  "So if players under contracts to NHL teams wanted
to come sign a contract with an AHL club, I don't think that we'd
do that" (ST. PETE TIMES, 10/12).
     TV REAX:  ESPN's Jimmy Roberts: "The national pastime of a
North American country's national sport grinds to a halt.  Sound
familiar?" ("SportsCenter," 10/11).  CNN's Mark Morgan compared
hockey to baseball: "No common ground, no talks are scheduled,
and -- unfortunately for hockey fans across North America -- the
end appears to be no where in sight" ("Sports Tonight," 10/11).
ESPN's Al Morganti: "Very seriously, we're looking at if not a
40-game season, no season" ("SportsCenter," 10/11).

     ANAHEIM:  Mighty Ducks President Tony Tavares:  "We have a
very, very high incentive to play this season.  But that
incentive is a short-term incentive versus a need for systemic
change."  Ducks Player Rep Bob Corkum:  "We just want a solid
marketplace to shop our skills" (Helene Elliott, L.A. TIMES,
10/12).
     BOSTON:  Bruins President & GM Harry Sinden, at the press
conference:  "The progress has been meaningless and fruitless"
(THE DAILY).
     EDMONTON:  Oilers President & GM Glen Sather: "What you have
today is not a partnership.  It's being dominated by one side and
the other side isn't having enough to survive on" ("Sports
Tonight," CNN, 10/11).  In Toronto, Al Strachan writes if Sather
were commissioner, the NHL "wouldn't be in the mess it's in
today" (TORONTO SUN, 10/12).
     MIAMI:  Panthers Player Rep John Vanbiesbrouk:  "We know
whatever [Bettman] says about us is not true because he does not
speak for us.  He speaks for his interpretations of us which
comes from his lack of respect for the players and that he thinks
we're stupid."  Panthers President Bill Torrey:  "The 30%
increases every year have got to come to a stop, unless the
players feel our fans should have to spend $40 or $50 a game"
(David Neal, MIAMI HERALD, 10/12).
     NEW YORK:  Joe LaPointe writes, "Surely a commissioner as
smart as Gary Bettman had to know that no union would capitulate
to his demands.  Certainly the owners who employed him had to
know had to know that this agenda was a collision course in a
game of chicken that is dangerous from both sides.  His efforts
amount to simple union-busting, strength against strength" (N.Y.
TIMES, 10/12).  Rangers President & GM Neil Smith: "I'm hoping
there will be hockey at the end of October, but it certainly
doesn't look good today" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 10/11).
     OTTAWA:  Roy MacGregor writes that the owners came off as "a
bunch of thugs, grumpy old men in suits who gathered   -- in a
setting not unlike a Politburo -- to shift the blame and squeeze
a little harder. ... The players came off as, well, naive"
(OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/12).
     PHILADELPHIA:  Flyers Owner Ed Snider:  "We're ready to stay
out the entire season.  We're fighting for the survival of the
[NHL]" (Gary Miles, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/12).
     SAN JOSE:  The "uncertainty" surrounding the NHL season is
causing city officials and civic leaders to fear that the All-
Star Game might be lost.  San Jose Sports Authority Exec Dir Dean
Munro:  "Everyone still has their fingers crossed that it will
still be played.  But if it isn't, our hope is that we'd have the
next available year."  The San Jose Convention and Visitor's
Bureau conservatively expects a $1.3M boost from the All-Star
game.  Boston hosts the '96 game (Scott Herhold, SAN JOSE MERCURY
NEWS, 10/12).
     ST. LOUIS:  "It should have been a glorious day in Blues
history.  They were to have played their first game in their
spiffy new home, the $135 million Kiel Center.  Instead, Tuesday
will go down as a dark day, not only in franchise history but
also in National Hockey League history" (Dave Luecking, ST. LOUIS
POST-DISPATCH, 10/12).
     TAMPA BAY:  Lightning Governor David LeFevre, noting the
NHLPA's proposal would have a top tax of $3 million:  "That's one
player.  Do you think $3 million is going to deter a Stanley Cup
contender from signing a player?  It's not a big deal."
Lightning Player Rep Brian Bradley:  "I read our proposal for an
hour last night and I think it was very fair" (Cammy Clark, ST.
PETE TIMES, 10/12).
     TORONTO:  Mike Gartner:  "Maybe we're getting close to a
situation like baseball" (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN, 10/12).  Bob
McKenzie reports that, according to those at the Board of
Governors meeting, Bettman asked the following:  "Are there any
teams that can't make it through a season with no games? ... Are
there any teams not willing to go through a season with no
games?"  McKenzie:  "The silence spoke volumes."  One NHL owner:
"We are in this for the long haul" (TORONTO STAR, 10/12).  Maple
Leaf President Cliff Fletcher:  "It is not inconceivable that
there could be no hockey played this year" (TORONTO STAR, 10/12).
     VANCOUVER:  Jim Taylor writes that Bettman's hard-line was
his way of "pouring water over the player's association dam to
see if there were any cracks."  According to one source "highly
placed" in TV marketing for the NHL:  "The league is convinced
that the association isn't as unified as it likes to let on, that
if Goodenow can't get a deal, some of the higher-profile players
will put the pressure on and either force a deal or lead a
revolt.  So Bettman will delay the opening to give the unrest
time to work" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/12).  Canucks Player Rep
Trevor Linden:  "We are prepared for the long haul and we are
prepared for the worst" (Ellliott Pap, VANCOUVER SUN, 10/12).
     WASHINGTON:  Capitals/Bullets Owner Abe Pollin:  "We can
never stop the overspending on our own.  In the NBA, we offered
the players 53 percent of our profits.  The average salary then
was $250,000.  Now it's $1.6 million.  How have the players
suffered?  They haven't, and the owners have done well" (Sandra
McKee, Baltimore SUN, 10/12).  NHLPA VP Kelly Miller:  "They want
it all. ... It's just a huge money grab on their part" (Dave Fay,
WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/12).