SBD/12/Franchises

MINOR LEAGUE TEAM TRIES TO RAID A TOP NHL HOLDOUT

     Capitals holdout Kevin Hatcher is "threatening" to play the
'94-95 season for the IHL's Detroit Vipers.  Detroit TV reports
say the Vipers have offered Hatcher a contract that would pay him
in excess of $1M a year plus incentive bonuses.  Hatcher began
practicing with the Vipers squad on 9/9, but a deal has yet to be
signed.  But a source close to the Vipers ownership called the
salary reports "ridiculous": "I can't see us paying NHL-type
money" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/11).  Hatcher:  "I don't
know if I want to jump the gun right now and sign a contract
tomorrow or anything.  But I think it's in the back of my head."
Another source close to the Vipers stressed, the contract would
include an out-clause so Hatcher could immediately join the Caps
if he were to re-sign with them (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST,
9/11).
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