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Wednesday

Games lost: 7; total 105.

Negotiating session: No.

Next negotiating session: None scheduled.

Rangers, Devils tangle

New York Rangers president Neil Smith said Wednesday that a lawyer for his team had complained to commissioner Gary Bettman about remarks by New Jersey Devils owner John McMullen.

During a luncheon interview with the New York Times on Tuesday, McMullen said the Rangers had a payroll of "between $25-million and $27-million" last season, when they won the Stanley Cup.

Smith said the Rangers' payroll for 1993-94 was under $20-million, but wouldn't give a specific amount, and that McMullen's comments were "objectionable, to say the least very, very inaccurate" and "just out-and-out ridiculous."

Refund rollout begins

The San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Los Angeles Kings got a jump on the league in announcing refund policies.

Stumpel to Germany

Boston Bruins forward Josef Stumpel returned to his old club in Germany, the Cologne Sharks. He is scheduled to play Friday.

Minneapolis Jets?

An executive said the financially struggling Winnipeg Jets could move to Minneapolis by the start of the 1995-96 season. After talking to Bettman this week, Target Center executive director Dana Warg told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that "the stars are in the right direction" for the Jets to move.

Missed opportunity

Bill Wilkerson, who served as front man for management during the 1992 strike, said the current deadlock could have been avoided.

"After the 1992 strike, there was supposed to be a joint committee established of owners and players which was to sort out, on a purely informational basis, what the financial situation of the league was," Wilkerson said.

The panel was never formed. "That's tragic because it eventually affected the issue of trust," he said, a central problem now.

_ TIMES WIRES

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