SBD/22/Franchises

ANNOUNCEMENT ON NORDIQUES COMING THIS WEEK?

     Reports on an announcement on the possible move of the
Nordiques to Denver varied this weekend.  The ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS
reported Saturday that Comsat Video Enterprises had informed the
Denver city attorney's office on Friday that it "hopes to make an
announcement" about the purchase of the Nordiques as soon as
Monday (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 5/20). However, the ROCKY MOUNTAIN
NEWS' Curtis Eichelberger wrote yesterday that "it's becoming
more apparent [Nordiques Owner Marcel Aubut] intends to continue
negotiations for the sale of his team a while longer." Nordiques
Dir of Media Relations Jean Martineau said that "it would be
impossible for Comsat to have an announcement ready by Monday,
and negotiations could continue as late as June 1" (Curtis
Eichelberger, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 5/21).  In Toronto, David
Roberts reports that Aubut is "holding out for a long-term
consulting contract" as part of a deal to sell the club to Comsat
and move it to Denver (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/22).
     ONE WAY OR ANOTHER:  "If Denver doesn't land the [Nordiques]
or any other existing NHL franchise in the next few weeks, the
city will be awarded an expansion franchise at league meetings in
July," according to Adrian Dater of the DENVER POST.  An NHL
source said that the league will award two franchises this
summer, one to Denver and Atlanta.  And, "they won't meet any
resistance at all from the league's governors."  Another league
source confirmed the league's plans and said they first "want to
solve the Winnipeg and Quebec situations" (DENVER POST, 5/21).
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