SUN Hockey Pool

Getting hairy at O'Hare

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

Media interest in yesterday's last-ditch lockout talks led to a wild pursuit of the principals and the truth.

Once it became known the two sides were meeting at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, intrepid TV crews from Canada and the U.S. were on the case. When Trevor Linden and the players' group tried to shake them by heading to the departure lounge, there were concerns the talks had broken off. A Rogers Sportsnet crew even bought cheap tickets to Des Moines, Iowa, so they could proceed past security and try to reach Linden and Co .

MEDIA MIXUP

There was at least one mixup, however, when a Fox affiliate broadcast that the owners and players had been engaged in serious talks the past two weeks and were close to an eight-year agreement. The first four years would include a salary rollback and the final four would see a soft cap with a luxury tax in place.

But that report turned out to be taken and twisted from a Canadian Press story from Tuesday, in which an industry source put forward a proposed eight-year "hybrid" agreement. The Fox item was quickly pulled.

Sportsnet's Bill Watters lamented that yesterday's meeting might have come three weeks too late, but predicted if talks were still alive by Monday that there would be a 2004-05 season.


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