Reactions on the deal from several NHL cities:
IN NEW YORK, MIKE LUPICA credits Bettman with saving the
season: "It does not make Bettman some kind of hero. He never
lost a paycheck here. He had to work for his votes every step of
the way. But if he did not rough up Goodenow, if he did not
rough up his owners sometimes, especially the owners who were
perfectly willing to shut down this season for good, then hockey
is gone" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 1/12). THE N.Y. POST scores it "Owners By
Knockout," but LARRY BROOKS scores it "E.G. Error, Goodenow"
(N.Y. POST, 1/12). RANGERS GOALIE GLENN HEALY: "We got killed,
but we had to do this in order to play hockey this year" (Mult.,
IN TAMPA, LIGHTNING GOVERNOR DAVID LEFEVRE: "We didn't get
everything we wanted, but it is a good deal for us. We've got a
system that will slow down the escalation of salaries. The only
gain they made was in unrestricted free agency. And most players
retire by the time they are 32" (Cammy Clark, ST. PETERSBURG
IN DETROIT, CYNTHIA LAMBERT & LYNN HENNING: "The players
gave up a ton, but they can still be considered the victors.
Why? NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman promised the owners a salary
cap." RED WINGS OWNER MIKE ILITCH: "I'll go along with this.
You have to respect what the whole group wants, but this isn't
going to work, not in the long run" (DETROIT NEWS, 1/12).
IN CHICAGO, BLACKHAWKS GM BOB PULFORD: "I think the reason
we went to the lockout was because we needed a deterrent on
salaries and we didn't get that" (Robert Markus, CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
IN SAN JOSE, SHARKS DIR OF HOCKEY OPS DEAN LOMBARDI: "We're
back at the starting gate and our wheels aren't spinning yet.
But I don't think it's irreparable harm; it just means our jobs
are harder" (S.J. MERCURY NEWS, 1/12).
IN DALLAS, TERRY EGAN writes, "In a sense, there is a new
beginning for hockey in Dallas." STARS OWNER JIM LITES: "I hope
it's a mending time" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/12).
IN TORONTO, MAPLE LEAFS PRESIDENT & GM CLIFF FLETCHER: "I
think I can say without going off the deep end, it probably will
be the best collective bargaining agreement of all the four major
professional sports. It'll be the only one that doesn't include
a tax or a cap and does include some arbitration and some free
agency for veteran players." DAVID SHOALTS & BRIAN MILNER write
that the consensus is that Bettman "has emerged as a big winner,"
but that opinion on Goodenow "is much more divided." The players
may be the "biggest losers" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/12). AL
STRACHAN writes that, by the time the deal expires, the NHL "will
no longer be the dominant hockey league in the world. ... As long
as the players have nowhere else to play, then they have to put
up with the salary limitation imposed by the new CBA. But there
is every indication that the players may soon have other
options." Strachan notes the IHL and a possible European league
(TORONTO SUN, 1/12).
IN BOSTON, BRUINS PRESIDENT & GM HARRY SINDEN: "I think
[the fans] lost. I don't think the sport was well-served by a
103-day shutdown." BRUIN CAM NEELY: "It's pretty evident the
owners basically want to control you from the time you're 18
until the time you're 32." HERALD headline: "NHLPA bails out
owners" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/12). Kevin Paul Dupont writes the
players "got what they wished for and now will have to live with
it. ... They held off a cap and slipped on a straitjacket"
(BOSTON GLOBE, 1/12).
IN WASHINGTON, TONY KORNHEISER writes, "The owners lost.
The players lost. The fans lost. The NBA won." CAPITALS
PRESIDENT DICK PATRICK: "I'd say the players won. ... We didn't
accomplish what we were after" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/12). CAPS
OWNER ABE POLLIN: "I believe we could have gotten a deal that
would have been fairer, not better but fairer, for the owners as
well as the players" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/12).
IN ST. LOUIS, BLUES' BRENDAN SHANAHAN: "They bent a little.
We bent more" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/12).
NHLPA VP MARTY MCSORLEY: "The players will have to be
tougher next time, better educated on the issues and more wary of
the opposition" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/12).
IN L.A., HELENE ELLIOTT writes, "It wasn't worth it. Nobody
won" (L.A. TIMES, 1/12). WAYNE GRETZKY: "There's still a free
market, that was most important and I think it was vital for Mr.
Goodenow to take that back to the players union. ... [The owners]
didn't get a salary cap which they wanted in the beginning, but I
think that they really got a drag on salaries" ("SportsCenter,
IN OTTAWA, ROY MACGREGOR calls Goodenow a "big-time winner.
... Goodenow took on, and beat, the salary cap. The owners were
able to take away some, but not nearly what they had counted on."
Bettman had "three months of victory, two days of being kicked in
the stomach. He took charge, the owners took it back" (OTTAWA
OILERS OWNER PETER POCKLINGTON, who voted against the deal:
"Gary [Bettman] did a hell of a deal. He's the greatest breath
of fresh air this league has ever seen" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y.
IN VANCOUVER, TONY GALLAGHER writes, "The owners won this
thing so cleanly it's obscene. But have they won too much? Will
the restrictive rookie salary cap spawn a competitive league
which so many agents feel is soon to be a reality? ... The IHL
only has to lift its salary cap and say, 'let's go'" (Vancouver
PROVINCE, 1/12). ESPN'S AL MORGANTI: "This was a matter of
how much would be taken away from [the players]. They got
hammered pretty well in arbitration, they got hammered in other
areas, they got a rookie cap. On the other hand, the banner they
chose to fight under was no tax, no cap. They can have their
victory dance over that" ("SportsCenter," 1/11).
HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR PAUL WEILER said the rookie cap will
have a positive effect on the salary structure for the owners:
"The salary patterns that are set by those rookies filter all
through the rest of the salary structure for the veteran players"
("World News Tonight," ABC, 1/11).