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Volume 24 No. 137

Leagues Governing Bodies

     The NHLPA "isn't ready to create a league of its own.  But as
the gamesmanship with the NHL over a collective bargaining
agreement, the union is planning to stage some games."  The NHLPA
is expected to announce as early as today two charity events to be
played at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario, on November 10 &
12.  NHLPA Dir of Communications Steve McAllister:  "The plan is
to use the top players in the league" (Viv Bernstein, HARTFORD
COURANT, 10/26).  The games will be broadcast in Canada on CTV.
McAllister denied reports of plans for games in other cities.  But
one source said, "There will be more players wanting to be a part
of it than there are spots on the team.  If the stoppage drags on,
there could be many more such games in various communities with
charities benefitting considerably" (Frank Orr, TORONTO STAR,
10/26).  "The union is hoping to have enough sponsors and
television exposure to make the series viable" (Mark Everson, N.Y.
POST, 10/26).  NHLPA Senior Dir of Business Affairs Ted Saskin
said the planning of the games "has not detracted" from the
union's negotiating effort (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 10/26).
Copps Coliseum, which seats 17,500, hosted Canada Cup in '87 &
'91.      U.S. VERSION:  Boston-based agent Neil Abbott is working
on a series of 4-6 games to benefit charities in U.S. cities,
including Chicago, Detroit and possibly Buffalo.  Abbott "is close
to nailing down primary sponsorship by a major American
corporation he did not wish to name."  Abbott:  "There are
corporate people in America who have sponsorship money to spend
and don't have hockey or baseball to spend it on. ... I was more
ambitious, but I'm probably talking about only one game now."
Games could be played at the Rosemont Horizon near Chicago or The
Palace at Auburn Hills, MI (Stephen Harris, BOSTON HERALD, 10/26).
Other possible U.S. sites: Target Center or the Met Center in MN
(N.Y. POST, 10/26).
     GIVE 'EM HELL, HARRY:  Bruins President & GM Harry Sinden
maintains that the "outlook is dark" for a settlement, despite the
recent talks between NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec
Dir Bob Goodenow.  And Sinden blames Goodenow:  "There's no hope
as long as Bob Goodenow is involved. ... I don't like Goodenow
personally.  I don't like his motives.  His motives are to get as
much money for the players as possible, and if it has to be at the
expense of the game, so be it" (Nancy Marrapese, BOSTON GLOBE,
     FREE AGENCY:  One issue sure to be discussed when NHLPA Exec
Dir Bob Goodenow meets with several agents tomorrow is that of
Group-1 free agents.  "The current buzz in the hockey world is the
NHLPA will offer to drop player equalization as compensation for
Group-1 free agents (under 24, less than five pro-seasons)."
Winnipeg-based agent Don Baizley describes it as "very
significant."  Under the current deal, Group-1's can select
equalization (players) or compensation (draft picks) as payment
for their team.  If a Group-1 free agent selects equalization,
"the team in question loses the player.  If they select
compensation, the team retains the right to match any offer.  The
move, in essence, would tie young players to their club for their
first five pro seasons" (Ed Willes, WINNIPEG SUN, 10/26).
     NO JACKPOT:  The lockout is costing the Ontario Lottery Corp.
$3 million a week in lost Pro Line sales, according to a report in
today's TORONTO SUN.  If the dispute isn't settled, the OLC stands
to lose more than $90M on regular-season NHL games (Jeff Harder,
TORONTO SUN, 10/26).
     NEUTRAL SITE GAMES:  Target Center head Dana Warg reports
that Bettman told him the league wanted to retain the neutral-site
games scheduled for Minnesota, Phoenix and Cleveland (Sid Hartman,
Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/25).  It has been widely believed
that neutral-site games would be the primary victims of a
shortened NHL schedule.

     Major League Soccer (MLS), "perhaps the best, last hope" for
pro soccer in the U.S., might be delayed until April '96.  U.S.
Soccer Federation President and MLS Chair Alan Rothenberg said
yesterday, "The later in the game it gets, the more you have to
analyze whether to start in '95 or '96."  Rothenberg added a
postponement is a "possibility.  Everything's a possibility."  MLS
has had difficulty finding investors for the league, which
"probably affected" MLS' efforts to start 12 teams.  The number of
teams will reportedly be 10, with maybe only 5 of the original 7.
Two NY sites have stadium problems and MLS officials are
"scrambling to find an alternate site" in NY or NJ. Rothenberg
said he is "circulating legal documents" for investors' signatures
and hopes to announce them in the next two weeks (Brian Landman,
ST. PETE TIMES, 10/26).  Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, Patriots owner
Robert Kraft and VA billionaire John Kluge are possible investors
(Roscoe Nance, USA TODAY, 10/26).

     NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman met yesterday with officials of
the NHL Officials' Association and their representative, Don
Meehan, to discuss whether the language on the collective
bargaining agreement agreed upon by both sides last year is
official.  In particular, the officials are threatening a lawsuit
if the league stops paying refs and linesmen during the lockout.
"The meeting dragged into the evening with no immediate word of
progress, but it appears the dispute will not be resolved
quickly."  The contract says the league is obligated to pay
officials for 45 days from the beginning of a players' strike, but
sources say the deal makes no mention of a lockout.  "However,
Bettman is arguing that the new contract was never signed by
either side, and thus the league is not under any obligation to
pay."  One official:  "What we've done is sat here and kept our
mouths shut and hoped things took care of themselves.  But now
(the league) is just trying to use the language of the contract
against us" (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/26).  Despite
the pay controversy, Meehan emerged calling the meeting "very
positive."  Meehan said the league will respond to the NHLOA's
submission by 5pm EDT today (Steve Buffrey, TORONTO SUN, 10/26).
Meehan's submission is thought to ask for an extension of the
November 15 cut-off date for payment to the officials (Frank Orr,
TORONTO STAR, 10/26).  CNN's Fred Hickman, on the officials'
concerns:  "I guess they like to eat" ("Sports Tonight," CNN,

     MLB officials will hear expansion proposals on November 1
from groups in Orlando, Tampa-St. Pete and Phoenix, and two groups
from Northern VA.  Orlando expansion organizer Norton Herrick has
asked to reschedule his 90-minute slot so his entire group can be
present.  Herrick's partners, attorney Paul Jacobs and accountant
Steve Kurtz, might be unable to attend because of involvement in a
bankruptcy case involving initial Rockies investor Mickey Monus.
Herrick has produced a $150M credit line to pay for the franchise,
but relies on the experience of Jacobs and Kurtz, who were
"instrumental in snaring" a team for Denver (Tracy & Lebowitz,
ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/25).  After speaking with Red Sox Owner John
Harrington, chair of MLB's Expansion Committee, Herrick said he
thought the committee would be open to rescheduling.  But
committee member George Steinbrenner disagreed.  Steinbrenner
thinks "everybody should play by the same rules" and that Orlando
would "benefit" from a delay.  Herrick said "it could really hurt"
Rockies Owner Jerry McMorris if Jacobs and Kurtz have to leave the
Monus trial, but that he will be there November 1 if necessary
(Bill Fay, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/26).
     ROBBING PETER TO PAY VIRGINIA?  In Washington, Tom Boswell
writes that the strike and Orioles Owner Peter Angelos' actions
during the dispute could help Northern VA's bid for an expansion
franchise.  Noting that Angelos has given "comfort to the union."
Boswell cites one source "close to many owners":  "They control
each other with threats of retaliation.  He (Angelos) will
probably find out the hard way."  Boswell points out that growing
controversy in Congress over baseball's anti-trust exemption could
also prompt a Metro DC expansion team as a way to "smooth
feathers" on Capitol Hill (WASHINGTON POST, 10/26).  Columnist
Dick Heller suggests the two Northern VA groups merge to produce
$1.15B "to wave" at the expansion committee (WASHINGTON TIMES,

     Nohl Rahn, one of the owners of the Artic Blast (MN's roller
hockey team), said after returning from a Roller Hockey
International league meeting, that the cost of franchise has
increased from the $125,000 that the MN group paid to $1M now.
Rahn on future expansion: "New York and Detroit could join the
league next season.  Right now the roller-skating industry is
selling more equipment than hockey" (Sid Hartman, Minneapolis STAR
TRIBUNE, 10/25).