ED SNIDER, the chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, released a statement on Saturday regarding a Daily News story that was published in SportsWeek that morning.

"An article appearing in today's Philadelphia Daily News is absolutely erroneous," Snider said in the statement. "I am a solid supporter of National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman and the league in this unfortunate situation. Like all fans, players, owners and league officials, I am extremely hopeful that an agreement can be reached and we can eventually be playing hockey again soon. League rules prevent me and all owners from making any comments on the labor negotiations. I will continue to honor that and not make any further comments."

In response, Daily News executive sports editor Chuck Bausman said: "We stand by our story."