NEW YORK, OCT. 10 -- The current collective bargaining agreement in the National Hockey League doesn't expire until next September and the negotiations won't become intense until next summer. But with some of the recent contractual squabbles that have become public, it is fairly clear that the top money-makers are not all that happy, much less the journeymen making $110,000.

Few players mean more to their team than the Islanders' Pat LaFontaine, but he sat out the last few days of training camp to spur renegotiation of his contract. Reportedly, he will make $450,000 this season, which is low relative to other professional sports given his stature.

Glenn Anderson isn't the most valuable member of the Edmonton Oilers, but he is a top player and he remains a holdout. Teammate Mark Messier was the league's MVP and he wants his salary reworked to push him toward the $2 million mark.

"I'm not sure if it will get to that point," Detroit's Steve Yzerman said of a strike. Yzerman's seven-year contract is worth about $12.6 million. "But certainly there is a greater possibility than the last time. There is more talk of it.

"I think the money is there. The NHL is more profitable than they are letting everybody believe. Nobody really challenged it before. Now, guys are starting to challenge it." Sticky Business

Although there are more foreign players than ever in the NHL, separating them from teams in their native countries is still not easy.

Several NHL clubs, including the Capitals, were hung up for most of training camp in trying to secure the eligibility of players from Europe. The Quebec Nordiques had difficulty getting Mats Sundin, the No. 1 pick overall in 1989, to camp because his Swedish team threw up barriers.

The Capitals, after several trips to Czechoslovakia, finally secured a release for Peter Bondra after paying a transfer fee of about $150,000.

Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Craig Patrick negotiated for months with Jaromir Jagr's Kladno team. Finally, Patrick flew to Prague and was able to complete the deal in about two hours. He then flew from Prague through Frankfurt to Dulles for the Penguins season opener in Washington. Indications are the Penguins paid Kladno between $150,000 and $200,000 for Jagr.

Such payments can be spread over several years and often are in Swiss francs. Hartford's Jergus Baca, who was Bondra's teammate with Kosice, missed the first three games, but the Whalers announced Tuesday a deal was struck, freeing Baca to play.

The NHL has a general agreement to respect hockey-playing contracts, and a more specific agreement with the Finnish hockey federation. In that arrangement, teams pay $225,000 if they sign an 18-year-old, $210,000 for a 19-year-old and $200,000 for a 20-year-old.

If a player returns to Finland within three years, the NHL team involved can get some of its money back. Agreements are needed with Sweden, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, but the recent political changes in the last two countries have made that difficult to achieve.

"There is still debate in Czechoslovakia as to whether all the teams wish to sign up for this agreement," NHL President John Ziegler said last week, referring to an arrangement similar to the one with Finland.

"In the Soviet Union, {teams} still don't know what they are going to be when it works out. Until recently, their laws did not permit a person from having a personal-service contract. Hopefully, for the good of hockey, they will be able to do that, so we don't have mass defections. It would hurt their hockey and, if their hockey goes down, we've lost one of the great hockey markets in the future." $50 Million Too Steep

Speaking of lost markets, Milwaukee was thought to be one of the leading candidates for an expansion team, but Lloyd and Jane Pettit decided the $50 million fee was too much and pulled out. The Milwaukee franchise would have had to pay extra money for moving into the Chicago Blackhawks' territory.

The NHL Board of Governors is expected to announce between two and six new teams in early December. Those still in the running are Miami, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Houston, San Diego (two bids), Seattle, Hamilton and Ottawa. . . .

The Islanders' victory Saturday over Chicago ended a bad 10 days for the franchise. In part because of a Billy Graham revival at Nassau Coliseum, the team played its final two exhibition games in California, trained in the mountains near Los Angeles and then opened with a loss against the Kings and then one to the lowly North Stars.

Besides LaFontaine's holdout (the negotiations continue), defenseman Jeff Norton was suspended for eight games (five are left) for high-sticking Pittsburgh's Jeff Daniels in an exhibition game.