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ARE LES NORDIQUES HEADED FOR THE HILLS? COMSAT BID REPORTED
Published February 21, 1995
Nuggets-owner Comsat has offered $75M to buy the Nordiques and move them to Denver, according to a report in Saturday's TORONTO SUN. The team would reportedly play in the new arena/studio complex planned for the Nuggets that will open in '97 (Al Strachan, TORONTO SUN, 2/18). Comsat President Charlie Lyons denied the offer in Sunday's ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, but "conceded there's a chance an NHL team could move to Denver." Lyons: "We're not going to get riled up every time someone writes a speculative article or someone passes a rumor around. The likely scenario is going to be expansion." One "NHL Insider" says Nordiques' Co-owner Marcel Aubut "could be bluffing" for a new arena in Quebec. Possible obstacles: The NHL's "desire to avoid uprooting franchises, especially in Canada"; Quebec's Olympic bid could bring a new arena; NHL owners' desire to grant Denver an expansion team (Clay Latimer, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 2/19). In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont writes that a move would rid the league "of one of its small-market headaches and perhaps its most cantankerous and belligerent owner. ... Comsat could be the Ted Turner-like broadcast partner/visionary the league needs" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/20). Last week, the ARIZONA REPUBLIC reported that Phoenix could be a possible site for the Nordiques (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/17). NHL TARGETS? Sunday's ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS quotes one NHL insider as saying the NHL wants to expand "by six more cities by the year 2000." Possibilities: Denver, Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston, Portland and Minneapolis (Clay Latimer, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 2/20) In the Twin Cities, Charley Walters reports there is a second local group interested in buying an NHL team for the Target Center other than T-Wolves owner Glen Taylor (SAINT PAUL PIONEER-PRESS, 2/19).