Tough-talking owners renew old offer as deadline looms

March 28, 1992

With time running out on NHL contract negotiations, league owners have made an offer to break the impasse with the players' union, a source close to the talks said last night in Toronto.

With the clock ticking toward a player-imposed strike deadline of noon Monday, and league officials prepared to walk away from the table after tonight, the owners again put forward a proposal to extend the regular season to 84 games as a method of financing what the players seek, the source said.

The talks broke up early this morning and were scheduled to resume at 9 a.m.

NHL Players Association head Bob Goodenow said free agency and other issues were discussed.

During the day there were negative words from various owners.


Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider, for example, made his first appearance at the talks yesterday and said he didn't fear a strike.

"If that's what they want to do, let them go ahead," he said.

* DEVILS: Defenseman Viacheslav Fetisov, 33, spent several hours in a federal penalty box as part of a $1 million dispute with his former agent.

He was taken into custody by U.S. marshals yesterday afternoon on orders of a federal judge, who released him later in the evening after a court hearing.

The dispute involves a 1989 agent contract Fetisov signed with Mark Malkovich, a classical music promoter, as the Soviet sports agency began to loosen its grip on athletes.

Arguing that Fetisov would flee the country at season's end to avoid paying a commission, Malkovich asked U.S. District Judge Dickinson Debevoise in Newark, N.J., to detain the player until a $150,000 bond was posted.

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