NHL AND ITS PLAYERS UNION IRON OUT "TRANSITION RULES"
As part of an examination of the labor situations in the
major sports leagues, the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES' Brian Hanley offers
an update on the ongoing meetings between representatives of the
NHL and NHLPA regarding the final details on the new collective
bargaining agreement. Lawyers from both sides have been meeting
on an average of three times a week for the past three weeks with
the hope, according to NHL VP of Public Relations Arthur Pincus,
that the work will be done by the end of April. Pincus: "There
are a lot of issues that each side has a position on, and they're
in the process of checking things off, and it is a pretty
substantial checklist. Such things as discipline policy, drug
and alcohol policy. ... We might not have a signed document by
the end of the month, but we hope to have all issues agreed upon
and have letters of agreement by then." Both Pincus and NHLPA
spokesperson Steve McAllister denied rumors that the tentative
agreement, signed on January 13, was in danger. Of the issues,
the "most contentious" are those concerning the marketing and TV
money expected from NHL participation in the '98 Olympics as well
as scheduling for the Games (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/20).
BETTMAN PROFILE: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is the
subject of a WASHINGTON POST profile. Bettman, on charges he
doesn't understand the game: "I go to tons of games and I watch
tons of games on television. And I can sit with the general
managers in the rules discussion, listen, understand and -- oh,
my God -- even participate. Does that mean I could be a general
manager? Absolutely not. Does that mean I could coach?
Absolutely not. Does that mean I could play? Absolutely,
absolutely, absolutely not. But I wasn't hired to do any of
those three things. Can I make a deal? Can I handle the league
in a labor dispute? Can I make a TV deal? Can I get a P.R.
department to function in ways that it hasn't before? You make
your own judgment. Those are the things I have to do" (Dave
Sell, WASHINGTON POST, 4/20).