NHL owners not idle
- NHL owners not idle
By Lance Hornby
From The London Free Press
Toronto -- NHL owners aren't likely to wait for the outcome of new talks
with the players before proceeding with their own plans for 2005-2006. Although
the second meeting in less than a week is scheduled today, likely in New
York, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. president Richard Peddie says his
team has begun gearing up for a new season, no matter who ends up wearing
blue and white in October.
"Naturally I'd like to tell you we have a deal [with the union] and we'd
like to start playing now," Peddie said yesterday. "But we have to begin the
job of marketing and selling our Leafs. We're working on the premise that
there will be Leaf hockey and players with Leafs sweaters on."
Without using the contentious term "replacement players," the NHL said at
its most recent board of governors meeting that it planned to operate business
as usual next season.
A Rogers Sportsnet report yesterday said another board meeting is scheduled
for April 20, at which time it is likely the replacement player plan would be
outlined by commissioner Gary Bettman.
Sportsnet also said a second memo has been circulated to the 30 teams,
telling them the window to negotiate a new deal is only two weeks before the
league takes steps to have the collective bargaining process declared at an
Bob Goodenow, the union's executive director, is expected at today's meeting
again, along with Bettman and top lieutenants on each side.
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