Domi pulls no punches over lockout

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

After months of biting his tongue, Maple Leafs pugilist Tie Domi has come out swinging.

On the same day representatives of the NHL and its players' association resumed labour talks in Toronto, Domi suggested it might be time for new faces to be brought to the table if a deal is not reached soon.

In fact, Domi hinted that the jobs of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA head Bob Goodenow could be in jeopardy should the stalemate continue.

'LOT OF EGO'

"There's a lot of ego, and they don't want to put their pride aside," Domi told the New York Times.

"The fight is over. These two guys have got to get a deal done. They'd better, or they won't be around too long."

The story, which ran in yesterday's edition, quoted a source close to the negotiations who explained how the union would accept a payroll range of $30 million to $50 million US per team in a package that would include a luxury tax for high-spending teams and significant revenue-sharing to help low-income franchises.

The two sides are scheduled to meet again today in Toronto.

"You need trust," Domi said. "I don't know if these two guys at the top can get this done. That's the bottom line.

"You can only gouge so much and Gary is gouging," Domi said. "It's not a way to have a partnership. Is Gary trying to break the union? I think he is.

"I think Gary's more to blame than Bob."

The league offered a tongue-in-cheek response to Domi's allegations.

"With all due respect to Mr. Domi, this is not his area of expertise," NHL vice-president Bernadette Mansur told the Times.

Two more bargaining sessions are slated for early next week in New York before Bettman and NHL VP Bill Daly head to Austria for the world hockey championship. Talks are scheduled to pick up again May 18 and 19 in Toronto.


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