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,
BOSTON: Bruins President & GM Harry Sinden, at the press
conference: "The progress has been meaningless and fruitless"
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
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
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).