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COURT DECISION SAVES NHL MILLIONS IN PENSION PAY-OUT
Published February 6, 1995
An Ontario Court of Justice chose the NHL's method of accounting and saved the league at least $2.4M in pension surplus payments to former players. Under the NHL's figures, the former players, who sued and won control of surpluses from the NHL Pension Society, will get $33.3M as of June 30, 1993 -- the last date for which audited financial statements were available. The payout will grow with time. The next step is to determine where the money will come from. The NHL claims its teams owe $24.7M to the pension fund, which would be added to the $8.4M already in the fund and then reallocated. The NHLPA will argue that the $8.4M be left to go toward pensions of current players (Kevin McGran, CP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/4). REVENUE SHARING: The NHL has hired Denver-based Bortz & Co. to determine a formula for compensating small-market clubs. But in Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont notes that "some clubs might not be able to float" even with some form of revenue-sharing. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, on Winnipeg: "If there's no new building, and the team is averaging 8,000 or 9,000 a game, we shouldn't knock ourselves out trying to save them" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/5).