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Thursday, June 23, 2005

nhl- Signs of Hope

from the Buffalo News, B. Thomas Golisano, like other NHL owners, doesn't know a whole lot about what's taking place behind closed doors these days.
Negotiators have been too quiet for him to gauge how much progress the league and the players union have made in reaching a collective-bargaining agreement. He can't say when the lockout finally will end.
All the Buffalo Sabres owner can do is take inventory of the many anecdotal updates from around the league and get a little energized that a deal could be right around the corner.
The Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday named a new general manager and fired their coach. A day earlier the Anaheim Mighty Ducks hired a new GM. The St. Louis Blues were put up for sale and on Wednesday re-signed head coach Mike Kitchen through the 2005-06 season. The Pittsburgh Penguins appear close to being purchased. The NHL recently asked equipment manufacturers to start producing smaller goalie pads.
Hockey observers view the developments as harbingers of good news. Golisano has taken note as well.
"I'm drawing the same kinds of conclusions," Golisano said. "Everybody has been pretty closed-mouthed, and that's an indication things are getting serious. Most people are being conservative with their predictions, and I fall under that category. But I am optimistic.
"Then again, somebody once said "We may be getting close, but there's always the possibility it'll be a train wreck.' "
Golisano's cautiously confident sentiments are shared throughout the league....more...