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NORDS REJECT GOVERNMENT'S OFFER -- ALL SIGNS SAYS DENVER

     "Barring some unforeseen event, it's all over for the Quebec
Nordiques as an NHL franchise north of the U.S. border,"
according to Robert McKenzie in today's TORONTO STAR.  The team
"bluntly rejected" a C$50M "rescue package" proposed by the
Quebec provincial government yesterday, and according to Quebec's
two main TV networks (TVA and Radio Canada), the team could be
sold to Comsat Video Enterprises and moved to Denver as early as
Friday (TORONTO STAR, 5/17).  ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH HOPES:  A close
friend of Nordiques Co-Owner Marcel Aubut told the DENVER POST
that Aubut believes there is a "99 percent chance the team will
move to Denver."  According to Aubut's friend, the price of the
sale to Comsat, reportedly $75M, is said to be more in the $65-
70M range.  If the sale goes through, Aubut stands to clear about
$15M in profit (Adrian Dater, DENVER POST, 5/17).  The DENVER
POST reported yesterday that a source who spoke with NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman was told that "Bettman would be
'shocked' if the team didn't move to Denver" (DENVER POST, 5/16).
One source close to Aubut told the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS that Aubut
"might continue to work with the team, as a consultant, once it
is sold to Comsat" (Curtis Eichelberger, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS,
5/17).  Aubut:  "The Nordiques' owners don't want what happened
in Winnipeg to repeat itself in Quebec" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
5/17).
     PENCIL THEM IN?  One NHL GM reports that he received a
tentative '95-96 NHL schedule with Denver included (DENVER POST,
5/17).  NHL VP of Public Relations Arthur Pincus denied such a
schedule exists (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 5/17).
     THE DEAD DEAL:  The Quebec government offered to pay up to
$7M of the team's debts over each of the next two years, and to
come up with another $7M for a third year should they decide to
build a new arena.  In addition, the government has also offered
to cover 70% of the difference if the team must be sold in two
years at a price lower that the current offers.  But the offer
did not come with conditions.  Over the next two years, the team
would have to show that it can sell 80 corporate boxes, get a
"rein on rampaging player salaries" and show what measures the
league would take to help small market teams.  Quebec Premier
Jacques Parizeau said those conditions seemed to be the sticking
point  (CP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/17).  Parizeau:  "These are
things you have to try, but you can't be taken by the ambition of
certain people whose eyes become bigger than their appetite.  It
didn't work.  I deplore it, but the episode is closed" (Adrian
Dater, DENVER POST, 5/17).
     FAN REAX:  In Montreal, Philip Authier reports that fans are
planning a demonstration today in front of the National Assembly
to "press the government."  Yesterday, Urbain Johnson, one of the
Nordiques founders, said he has a 75,000-name petition "urging
more government help that he wants to give the Premier" (MONTREAL
GAZETTE, 5/17).
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