SBD/6/Leagues Governing Bodies

IS THE IHL LOOKING TO "BUSH-WHACK" THE NHL?

     "While the NHL is worrying about hammering out a new deal
with the players' association, shouldn't somebody be worrying
about the [IHL]?," asks Mike Beamish in this morning's VANCOUVER
SUN.  The IHL has expanded into 13 of the top 30 American media
markets.  The NHL, which is in 14 of the top 30 U.S. markets, has
no right to exclude minor-league teams from its cities -- unlike
MLB.  And that has caused concerns among one NHL owner, Mike
Ilitch of the Red Wings, about Commissioner Gary Bettman's "get
tough strategy" in the labor talks.  IHL expansion fees will
reach $6-8M next year, with New Orleans, Orlando, San Francisco,
Seattle, Mexico City and Toronto under consideration for
franchises.  Cleveland Lumberjacks owner Larry Gordon, former GM
of the Edmonton Oilers:  "What's happened to our league is
happening in all areas of the country.  Hockey is taking off"
(VANCOUVER SUN, 10/6).
     MORE THAN A MINOR CHALLENGE?  Beamish writes, "One might
wonder whether the IHL is in a better position to make a run at
the NHL" than the WHA did in '72.  Some IHL owners, including
Gordon, "insist" the IHL "neither desires nor can afford a
challenge to the NHL's supremacy.  Still, they're acting
suspiciously like an outfit planning to become a major-league
rival, perhaps raising the possibility of an NFL-AFL merger
scenario" (VANCOUVER SUN, 10/6).
     VIPERS REFUSE TO BITE:  Detroit Vipers GM and Coach Rick
Dudley "rebuffed" a call from Maple Leafs player Doug Gilmour
asking to play for the team.  Dudley said he did not want to
"disrupt" his lineup only to have Gilmour return to the NHL when
their season resumes.  The IHL has "officially" told clubs not to
start signing NHL players, but Las Vegas Thunder GM Bob Strumm is
willing to.  If Strumm signs NHL players, Dudley "said he would
change his mind" about Gilmour (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE &
MAIL, 10/6).
     BUT THE MOOSE ARE CALLING:  The Minnesota Moose have offered
Dallas Stars centers Mike Modano and Neil Broten and Flames
defenseman Phil Housley $1,000 per game to join the IHL
franchise.  Modano is interested in playing for the Moose, but
added that he has to review his insurance policy with the Stars.
Stars Coach/GM Bob Gainey did not think there are any contractual
impediments to keep NHL players out of the IHL (Terry Egan,
DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/5).
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