TWO MONTHS POST-LOCKOUT, NHL AND UNION FACE LINGERING ISSUES
The NHL and NHLPA are still at odds over items such as
player pensions, draft rules, and the relationship between the
NHL and Europe, according to Roy Cummings of the TAMPA TRIBUNE.
Cummings reports that the NHLPA's refusal to address the question
of Canuck Murray Craven's status as either a Group II or Group V
free-agent is "holding things up." When Craven's status is
determined, the league's average salary can be determined.
Cummings says the final sticking points leave questions about
issues such as the NHL's status for the '98 Nagano Games and
possible sponsorship of a European development league. Cummings
notes the IHL's planned expansion into Europe: "There is concern
over the NHL's future there if the IHL gets deals in all the key
markets" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/26).