"The fear is that hockey has slipped into an extended deep
freeze. There are no talks planned in the dispute and there's
some thought the two parties might not warm to negotiations until
games start being cancelled. That could come this weekend" (Paul
Hunter, TORONTO STAR, 10/13). Neither the NHLPA nor the NHL
could confirm if players would or would not be paid per lost
game, but Canucks Owner Arthur Griffiths said there would be a
"pro-rata loss of salary" (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
MOVING TO A CAP? In New York, Murray Chass reports that
some owners have raised the notion of converting the luxury tax
plan to a straight salary cap, "as in, 'if we're going to have a
war, let's have a war over a salary cap.'" While it "was not by
any means the prevailing view," the sentiment "reflects the
bleakness of the negotiating situation for the near future." One
person close to the union, on the luxury tax: "If that's an
ongoing condition of a deal, there will never be a deal" (N.Y.
LOSSES: Senators Owner Rod Bryden projects the team will
lose $15M if the season is lost and $8M if there is a 50-game
schedule. But Bryden foresees no layoffs and no delays on
construction of the Palladium, the team's new $200M home (John
MacKinnon, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/13). Maple Leaf President Cliff
Fletcher also predicted a $15M loss if there is no season (Damien
Cox, TORONTO STAR, 10/13).
GOODENOW-BASHING: Capitals Owner Abe Pollin tells the
WASHINGTON POST that during the '92 labor talks he opened the
books on the Capitals and the Capital Centre for Goodenow to
prove the team lost money, only to hear that two days later
Goodenow was calling them "fake numbers" (Len Hochberg,
WASHINGTON POST, 10/13). Whalers Owner Peter Karmanos said he
paid Goodenow for help in attaining a franchise when Goodenow was
a player agent. Karmanos claims Goodenow billed him "thousands"
every month and "assured" him he would get a franchise.
Goodenow: "I never, ever assured them of a team. That's
ridiculous." Karmanos: "I'm saying he's very arrogant"
(HARTFORD COURANT, 10/12).
OTHER OWNERSHIP QUOTES: Blues President Jack Quinn: "We're
saying to the players, 'Fellas, you're already in far more than
50-50. We're trying to tell you to slow down. You can't have
Christmas every year" (Dave Luecking, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH,
10/13). Arthur Griffiths, on the NHLPA's mistrust of ownership's
figures: "It's easier to say they don't believe you than bring
in their auditors" (Iain MacIntyre, VANCOUVER SUN, 10/13).
Griffiths did note that "some local advertising" did not figure
into gross revenues (Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/13). Bruins Pres/GM
Harry Sinden: "We are prepared at the moment to take a hit, I'm
not going to tell you what the number is, but it's a big-time hit
across the league" ("SportsCenter," 10/12).
PLAYER QUOTES: Blues winger Brendan Shanahan: "For Gary
Bettman to react the way he did leaves me no other conclusion
than his sole intention is to break the union" (Dave Luecking,
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/13). Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick: "I'm
ready to sit here a year or two, I'll go play in Europe if I have
to" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/12). Lightning Player Rep Brian
Bradley: "I don't think anything's going to happen until maybe
Nov. 1. ... The whole thing is trust. They don't trust us and we
don't trust them" (Roy Cummings, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/13). NHLPA VP
Kelly Miller said that NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow told players
to "prepare to lose the entire" season (Baltimore SUN, 10/13).
THE "I" IS WATCHING: While IHL Commissioner Bob Ufer said
he would not recommend that his GM's sign locked-out NHLers,
other agents are keeping open the possibility. Agent Steve
Bartlett: "A lot of my players are saying, 'Why not?' Every
player I have is willing to look at it." But agent Rick Curran
is recommending against it since IHL teams are requesting 100%
commitment to the whole season (Viv Bernstein, HARTFORD COURANT,
10/13). There is talk on the West Coast of a player-staged
"California Cup" among the Sharks, Kings and Ducks (SAN JOSE
MERCURY NEWS, 10/13).
EUROPE, HO? Int'l Ice Hockey Federation countries are bring
advised by the NHL to prohibit contracted players from playing.
NHL Dir of Hockey Operations Brian Burke reportedly told Swedish
League President Tommy Toppel that NHLers are not allowed to play
in Sweden. Finnish League President Urpo Hilkovaara has said his
league will not allow NHL players to join (Mike Weaver, SAN JOSE
MERCURY NEWS, 10/13). But today's WINNIPEG SUN reports that "the
way has been cleared" for Teemu Selanne to rejoin his old Finnish
team, Jokerit (Ed Willes, WINNIPEG SUN, 10/13).
FOOT SOLDIER: CNN's Nick Charles reports Sabres goalie
Dominik Hasek is playing soccer at training camp of the NPSL's
Buffalo Blizzard ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 10/12).
WALKING THE LINE: The CANADIAN PRESS reports some U.S.
players are filing for unemployment insurance. Edmonton-based
agent Rich Winter: "Here I am, a high-profile player agent with
a young superstar, and I'm talking about [unemployment]. He was
asking me questions on how to fill out the form, it's hilarious"
(OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/13).