Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nhl Owners Seem Cool to Proposal Straw Poll Shows Only 6 Yes Votes

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nhl Owners Seem Cool to Proposal Straw Poll Shows Only 6 Yes Votes

Article excerpt

With the National Hockey League season hanging in the balance, those in favor of accepting the players' proposal to save the season might not have the votes to do it when the NHL board of governors convene in New York City.

Informal straw polls conducted by members of the media throughout North America came up with only six definite yes votes - the Blues, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, the New York Rangers and Islanders.

The "no" side is reported to include Boston, New Jersey, Chicago, Washington, Edmonton, Tampa Bay, Florida, Buffalo, Dallas, Calgary, Winnipeg, Quebec, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Montreal, Anaheim, Ottawa, Hartford and Detroit.

San Jose was on the fence.

This is not good news for fans hoping for a settlement after what the NHL Players' Association has said is its "best effort" to reach a collective bargaining agreement.

Neither Blues chairman Mike Shanahan nor President Jack Quinn would handicap the vote, but they offered little hope.

"The season is in a very precarious situation," Shanahan said. "I hope we don't lose the season."

Said Quinn: "We have a meeting Saturday, but I wouldn't get carried away that this is the light at the end of the tunnel. The commissioner wants the group to fully understand and review the salient points of what is considered the players' final response.

"But I don't think it should be construed that that final response is going to get ratification."

Anaheim GM Jack Ferreira said there was no chance that the players' offer would be accepted.

"It doesn't even come close to being acceptable, as far as we're concerned," he said. "It definitely will be rejected."

The number of votes needed to accept the players' proposal depends on whether Commissioner Gary Bettman approves it. If Bettman approves, a simple majority of 14 would be needed to ratify. If he disapproves, the owners would need 20 of the 26 teams to vote to override him.

Guy Carbonneau, the Blues' player representative and a union negotiator, suggested that Bettman's beliefs shouldn't enter the equation. …

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