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Grapes shocked to see Bettman so steamed

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DON CHERRY'S never seen Gary Bettman like this before.

The Hockey Night in Canada commentator took to Twitter on Thursday night to comment on the NHL commissioner's heated news conference in New York City.

"I have known Gary Bettman since he was named commissioner," said Cherry. "I have never seen him so livid as he was tonight at the press conference.

"He was almost shaking. That was no act."

Bettman held the conference after two days of intense but optimistic negotiations with the NHLPA fell apart.

Union head Donald Fehr held a news conference in the early evening when he said the NHLPA had tabled an offer that he felt made real progress to ending the 82-day old lockout.

Minutes later, Fehr spoke to the assembled media again, saying the owners had rejected the offer.

Bettman then held a third news conference where he took some shots at his union counterpart.

MLB payroll goes up

NEW YORK -- Baseball's average salary increased 3.8 per cent this year to a record $3.2 million.

According to final figures released Friday by the Major League Baseball Players Association, the rise was the steepest since 2007. The boost was helped by an increase in the minimum salary from $414,000 to $480,000.

The New York Yankees had the highest average for the 14th consecutive season at $6.88 million, rising after consecutive declines from a peak of $7.66 million when they won the World Series in 2009.

At nearly $685,000 Houston had the lowest average since the 2006 Florida Marlins.

Love III, Snedeker lead

NAPLES, Fla. -- U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III and Brandt Snedeker shot a 10-under 62 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout.

Kenny Perry and Sean O'Hair were two strokes back on the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort's Tiburon Golf Club.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 8, 2012 C9

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