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THE NHL LOOKS WEST; THE MINORS KEEP BOOMING
Published February 24, 1995
Although no "expansion plan exists, and no timetable is certain, everyone expects the NHL will go west again," according to Kevin Allen in today's USA TODAY. Among topics that Allen discusses in the piece: the leading cities in the west who appear to be "early front-runners" for teams (Denver, Phoenix and Portland), the concern of the "quality of talent pool" for new teams, and a conflict with the IHL that "appears inevitable." On the IHL, which has teams in cities where the NHL may expand, Whalers GM Jim Rutherford: "They didn't have any concern about putting teams outside Detroit and Chicago. Why should we be concerned about going into Denver, Phoenix or Atlanta" (USA TODAY, 2/24). MINORS FLOURISH: The popularity of the ECHL and other minor hockey leagues is examined by Stefan Fatsis in this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL. With franchises No. 20 and 21 due next season and "at least six more by 1998," Fatsis says the ECHL "may be the fastest-growing league in professional sports history. ... The minors in general have come a long way from the brawl-a- minute games depicted in the 1977 movie 'Slapshot'" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/24). CONGRATS, MICK E.: The IHL Minnesota Moose logo "has been rated No. 1 in all of minor league hockey" by THE HOCKEY NEWS. According to staff writer Michael Ulmer, "Mick E. Moose is clearly the logo of the '90's. ... The Moose won because they managed to create a figure which is entrancing and assertive without being obnoxious." The logo has been so popular that merchandise "sold in the arena and in their specialty stores" has already surpassed the $1.4M mark (Dan Barreiro, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/22). Moose Dir of Public Relations Joanie St. Peter: "Obviously it's a big honor. We're very excitied about it" (THE DAILY).